by pfelix


									                                                                                                                             FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

                                                     CoMBATInG TERRoRIsM CEnTER AT WEsT poInT

                                                    CTC SEnTInEL
                                                     oBjECTIVE . RELEVAnT . RIGoRoUs

Contents                                            A Beacon for Extremists:
1 A Beacon for Extremists:
                                                    The Ansar al-Mujahideen
  The Ansar al-Mujahideen Web Forum
  By Evan Kohlmann                                  Web Forum
                                                    By Evan Kohlmann
5 Al-Qa`ida and Hamas: The Limits of
   Salafi-Jihadi Pragmatism
   By Mary Habeck
8 Lebanon at Risk from Salafi-Jihadi
   Terrorist Cells
   By Bilal Y. saab
11 The Changing Scene in Londonistan
   By Raffaello pantucci
13 Political Islam in Central Asia:
   The Role of Hizb al-Tahrir
   By Emmanuel Karagiannis
16 How Terrorist Groups End
   By Leonard Weinberg and Arie perliger

18 Recent Highlights in Terrorist Activity
20 CTC Sentinel Staff & Contacts

                                                              uring the last decade, a                             terrorists have taken to the internet in
                                                              virtual revolution has quietly                       force, employing jihadist-themed social
                                                              taken place in the world                             networking forums as a new base for
                                                              of   international  terrorism.                       propaganda, communication, and even
                                                    The traditional hubs of logistical                             recruitment. It was only in retrospect,
                                                    activity—radical mosques, bookstores                           years after this phenomenon began, that
                                                    and guesthouses—have been strictly                             governments recognized the degree to
                                                    monitored by law enforcement and                               which al-Qa`ida’s leadership was aware of
                                                    intelligence agencies. As a result, in a                       the existence of these social networking
                                                    strategy pioneered by eager cyber-savvy                        forums—and the extent of their interest
                                                    youth such as London resident Younis                           in using them to harness the power of the
About the CTC Sentinel                              Tsouli (known as “Irhabi 007”), 1 aspiring                     web.
The Combating Terrorism Center is an
independent educational and research
                                                                                                                   Although official scrutiny initially
institution based in the Department of social       1 In July 2007, Younis Tsouli and two co-defendants pled
                                                                                                                   focused on Arabic-language websites
sciences at the United states Military Academy,     guilty to charges filed by British prosecutors accusing
                                                                                                                   with clear connections to al-Qa`ida,
West point. The CTC sentinel harnesses              them of “inciting another person to commit an act of ter-
                                                                                                                   recent events have forced a reappraisal of
the Center’s global network of scholars and         rorism wholly or partly outside the UK contrary to Section
                                                                                                                   this relatively limited approach. Whether
practitioners to understand and confront            59(1) Terrorism Act 2000.” The charges stemmed from,
                                                                                                                   it is Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal
contemporary threats posed by terrorism and         among other activities, Tsouli’s high-profile online role as
                                                                                                                   Malik Hasan’s passion for the English-
other forms of political violence.                  the internet media coordinator for al-Qa`ida in Iraq. Part
                                                                                                                   language blog of Yemeni-American cleric
                                                    of this mission included using web social networking fo-
                                                                                                                   Anwar al-`Awlaqi, or conversely the
                                                    rums to help link up prospective jihadist recruits with al-
The views expressed in this report are those of
                                                                                                                   online ramblings of the failed Christmas
                                                    Qa`ida contacts based in Damascus, Syria. For more, see
the authors and not of the U.s. Military Academy,                                                                  Day airline bomber Umar Farouk
                                                    “Three Men Admit to Using Internet to Incite Terrorism
the Department of the Army, or any other agency
                                                    in First British Case,” United Kingdom Crown Prosecution
of the U.s. Government.
                                                    Service (CPS), press release, July 5, 2007.

                                                                                                                               FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

Abdulmutallab, 2 it is increasingly                           women dedicate countless hours of                     its creation. “I am one of those so-called
second-     and   third-tier    extremist                     their own personal time—often with                    ‘New Muslims,’” wrote Abu Omar al-
social networking forums managed                              little reward or acknowledgement—to                   Maqdisi.
by unaffiliated fringe activists—many                         translating and redistributing jihadist
of them offering dedicated English-                           propaganda and instructional materials,                   For years of my life I was living
language chat rooms—that appear to                            promoting the mission of al-Qa`ida, and                   in ignorance and God guided
play pivotal roles in the indoctrination                      establishing new online sanctuaries for                   me so I gave myself to Him after
and radicalization of some of today’s                         jihadist activists.                                       I understood the meaning of
most notorious aspiring terrorists. This                                                                                how God graces and puts faith
is a significant shift that has yet to be                     As a result of the tireless efforts of its                in someone’s heart, and since I
fully understood, as it could herald in a                     administrators, in less than two full years               originally work in the media, I
new generation of English-speaking or                         of operation the Ansar al-Mujahideen                      thought about starting some work
Westernized violent extremists.                               Arabic-language forum has accumulated                     for the victory of the mujahidin...
                                                              3,784     registered      users,    13,845                All that we want is the glory of
Indeed, while certain discussion forums                       discussion threads, and nearly 57,000                     this religion, and to encourage
receive substantial endorsements and                          individual message posts. 3 Beyond                        the believers to fight, and to
patronage directly from al-Qa`ida, many                       these already impressive numbers,                         spend money and offer victorious
others are the product of independent                         Ansar al-Mujahideen administrators                        words for the mujahidin…We
efforts by loyal, web-savvy grassroots                        enjoyed further viral success upon                        were ordinary members at the
supporters who simply possess an                              the launch of mirrored Ansar forums                       al-Ekhlaas forum and we learned
overflowing passion for Usama bin                             dedicated exclusively to English- and                     a lot from the brothers who took
Ladin and the subculture of jihad.                            German-language        users.    Unveiled                 charge of jihadi media work before
Occasionally, this self-selecting form of                     months after the Arabic parent site was                   us—and it is only normal for us to
internet-based terrorism can become so                        already active and open for business,                     start our own active campaign at
significant as to arguably even rival that                    its English-language Ansar cousin has                     the first chance we got. And that’s
which has been blessed by al-Qa`ida                           rapidly closed the distance, amassing                     what we did, so we established this
itself. These websites may not rank                           nearly 15,000 threads and 60,000                          site, and told everyone we knew
at the top of the conventional online                         individual message posts. As such, the                    from the al-Ekhlaas network about
jihadist hierarchy, but understanding                         multi-layered Ansar al-Mujahideen                         this forum…We went outside the
the methodology and mindset of the                            network has become a key beacon for                       usual jihadi media route, but we
idealistic web entrepreneurs behind                           lone wolf extremists originating from                     terrorize in the real world as much
the forums has nonetheless become                             a wide array of communities, including                    as we terrorize online, so whoever
essential in countering a new wave                            Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe,                    wishes to join is welcome, and
of international terrorism—both the                           and North America.                                        those who don’t should hold their
organized and disorganized variety.                                                                                     tongues about us and go away.
                                                              Yet, the somewhat amateurish origins of                   And although low in number, we
This sobering lesson is clearly reflected                     the Ansar al-Mujahideen network have                      are strong in determination, and
in the brief yet meteoric rise of one                         also become an unwitting Achilles heel.                   anyone who joins us will realize
contemporary jihadist discussion forum                        During their path to success, the forum’s                 that immediately. 4
in particular: the Ansar al-Mujahideen                        administrators made a litany of costly
website. The website began in 2008 as a                       software installation errors, allowing                The ruffling of Abu Omar’s feathers came
rather low-frills, Arabic-language clone                      outsiders brief access to the website’s               amid a torrent of online gossip in late
forum with questionable credibility                           user database. Along with various                     2008 concerning the trustworthiness
and a membership of mostly silent                             Internet Protocol (IP) addresses—and                  of the Ansar al-Mujahideen forum,
observers. Today, however, the Ansar                          much heated invective and rhetoric—the                and rumors that the al-Fajr Media
al-Mujahideen forum has blossomed                             data stored in the forum offers a clear               Center—the official group responsible
into    a    prolific,   multi-language                       picture of how Ansar al-Mujahideen was                for media distribution and other online
enterprise with an enviable following of                      created, and what purpose it serves in                logistical tasks on behalf of al-Qa`ida—
skilled and highly-motivated English-                         the greater context of terrorist activity             was questioning its legitimacy. 5 Abu
speaking members. These men and                               on the internet.                                      Omar haughtily rejected these charges
                                                                                                                    and the perceived backstabbing by
2 Under the username “Farouk1986,” Umar Farouk                The Rise of the Ansar al-Mujahideen Forum             the “snobs” at al-Fajr: “None of us is
Abdulmutallab posted scores of messages to at least one       Created in 2008, Ansar al-Mujahideen                  more privileged than any other, except
third-tier English-language Islamic forum, the “Gawaher       was established by a group of “ordinary               through his zeal for his religion and
Network,” in 2005 and 2006. The postings included ex-         members” from the well-known al-                      supporting the mujahidin. Our work
pressions of sympathy for the Guantanamo Bay detain-          Ekhlaas forum. In a private retort sent to            serves as testament to our credibility.” 6
ees, anger at the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan,     an online critic of Ansar al-Mujahideen,
descriptions of travel to Yemen, and his lamentations         the self-declared “Media Amir” of the
about leading the life of a solitary bachelor. For details,   forum, Abu Omar al-Maqdisi, explained                 4 This quote was available at
see Philip Rucker and Julie Tate, “In Online Posts Ap-                                                              vate.php?do=showpm&pmid=502.
parently by Detroit Subject, Religious Ideals Collide,”       3 This information, drawn from,   5 Ibid.
Washington Post, December 29, 2009.                           was accurate as of February 2010.                     6 Ibid.

                                                                                                               FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

He admitted,                                   attempts at website maintenance, an                      youths in West to awake and take
                                               English-speaking deputy administrator                    the path of glory-jihad. Our forum
    maybe some of my productions               nicknamed “Insurgent” explained to                       should do the maximum it can, to
    have some basic mistakes…but that          up-and-coming     forum   contributor                    achieve this…i hope by the grace
    doesn’t mean I am on an untruthful         “Terrorist 001” that                                     of allah we can bring the english
    path…We are located in al-Ansar                                                                     forum to a better position and
    room on PalTalk alongside the                  we need a lot of brothers who are                    thus providing a great service to
    jihadi Shaykh Abu Abdulrahman,                 ready to do something fi sabielellah,                the mujahideen in spreading their
    may Allah protect him, one of                  and of course you can look out                       words, and making the audience
    the commanders in Somalia—so                   for more brothers who can cut                        aware of what is happeining [sic]
    why would he trust us and allow                videos and audio too. We need to                     in the ongoing global jihad. 11
    us to record and broadcast his                 develop our skills and this cannot
    interview? We also have brothers               be achieved when every one of us                  These sentiments square neatly with the
    from the Islamic State of Iraq,                working alone, no discussions, no                 ever increasing demand by al-Qa`ida
    Chechnya, and Dagestan. 7                      ideas…We need to adopt the way                    and its global affiliates for Westernized
                                                   of thinking of our enemies and we                 operatives    who      defy    traditional
Abu Omar professed his growing                     need each other to strengthen each                stereotypes and are capable of evading
“boredom” with online “work” and his               other…our mission is very long                    heightened security measures.
desire “to join the battlefields to fight          and dangerous…It’s not just about
with my weapon, and with my camera                 copying and pasting…we need to                    To put their plan into action, Ansar
and computer so I ask God to grace us.             develop our media skills, produce                 al-Mujahideen administrators such as
All I want now is a strong and solid media         more videos and audio releases                    “Insurgent” and Abu Omar al-Maqdisi
network operating at an elite level in order       in arabic and also in english, and                began    to   systematically   identify
to terrorize our enemies and uncover the           other languages if it possible.                   and recruit individuals within their
truth.” 8 Abu Omar further scoffed:                Doing this is gonna improve the                   immediate social network to help
                                                   quality and the professionality                   contribute in spreading the word of
    Why have the brothers become                   [sic] of the brothers and sisters                 jihad in alternative languages. Abu
    scared of their own shadows? If                and you know very well how                        Omar sent a private message over the
    you really perceive yourself to be             important media is. 10                            forum to one such user, inviting him to
    in danger here [on the Ansar al-                                                                 support the mission:
    Mujahideen forum] according to             His       statement    reflects    the
    what these brothers have told you,         decentralization of online jihadist                      Dear brother, i guess i know you
    then don’t come in here again…We           propaganda. It is also evidence                          from several jihadi forums and i
    don’t need you or anyone else…             of the continued attraction of al-                       realized your activity to support
    just ask the brothers at the al-           Qa`ida’s narrative, and the efforts of                   our brothers on jihad fronts and
    Tahadi forum to vouch for us…I             propagandists to influence Muslims                       therefore I am inviting you to join
    say, if any of the brothers at al-         living in Western countries.                             me on the chat program…to discuss
    Fajr Media wishes to receive                                                                        with you the responsibility of the
    assurances about us and if you are         Providing Propaganda in Multiple Languages               english german section on our
    in communication with them, then           The     Ansar    al-Mujahideen       forum               forum, if you are ready to make
    inform them that we would like             administrators       have       recognized               more differences in this important
    to meet with them. We ask them to          the utility of providing jihadist                        historical time which we are living
    come here and distribute a bulletin        propaganda in multiple languages. In                     in. I am waiting for you now if
    outlining the action plan for the al-      his own messages to other users, the                     you are ready. We speak arabic,
    Ansar network—and we are willing           administrator known as “Insurgent”                       english, spanish, german. 12
    to blow ourselves up near the              repeatedly emphasized the importance
    infidels at any moment, and if they        of making hardcore al-Qa`ida content                  The “work” that Abu Omar al-
    have enough resources to provide           available to English-speaking Muslims:                Maqdisi spoke of extended far beyond
    us with the necessary financing,                                                                 merely translating Arabic-language
    then a terrorist is ready. 9                   i think a very important problem                  propaganda. When Abu Omar expressed
                                                   our english readers today have is,                his desire to identify potential volunteers
Indeed, rather than turn to al-Qa`ida              lack of english subtitled videos and              willing to create advertising banners
for essential guidance and support, the            if we make subtitles to important                 and promotional material for the Ansar
Ansar al-Mujahideen administrators                 videos, that will be a great help to              al-Mujahideen forum, his aide-de-camp
relied on the pooled volunteer efforts             the mujahideen, by spreading their                “Insurgent” suggested, “i know a sister
of their membership and each other.                words to the West. mujahideen                     in another forum who is capable in
During another private chat accidentally           releases more deserved to be                      graphic designing. but i have to contact
revealed to the world during fumbling              watched by the West than arabs…
                                                   it will help the muslims [sic]                    11 This quote was available at
7 Ibid.                                                                                              private.php?do=showpm&pmid=62.
8 Ibid.                                        10 This quote was available at   12 This quote was available at
9 Ibid.                                        private.php?do=showpm&pmid=121.                       private.php?do=showpm&pmid=15.

                                                                                                                       FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

her through the administration of that                Beyond the formal activities being                       speak about this issue, and Allah
forum.” 13 As promised, “Insurgent” sent              organized by administrators, the murky                   knows that I am being honest. 20
a message to the “sister” asking her for              sanctuaries afforded by the private
help, effusing, “im really very happy                 chat rooms on the Ansar al-Mujahideen                 Implications
that you came forward to help us. May                 forum have also been used by seemingly                The covert activities taking place
allah reward you greatly for that…Good                ordinary users to craft their own                     behind the scenes on the Ansar al-
luck in your studies.” 14                             elaborate plans and plots. Two such                   Mujahideen forum reveal important
                                                      users—a Moroccan and a resident of                    lessons about how terrorists are
Offering Assistance and Facilitating Jihad            Saudi Arabia—became enmeshed in a                     actually using the internet, and how the
Abu Omar al-Maqdisi has also identified               deep discussion of how best to travel to              growing phenomenon of decentralized,
emerging opportunities to work with                   nearby Somalia and join the emerging                  self-selecting “homegrown” terrorism
nascent mujahidin organizations in the                al-Shabab movement. “Nasruddin at-                    has found such a resilient base for itself
field that lack established ties to major             Tamimi” wrote to “Abu Aeisha,” “My                    on the web. Even now, some analysts
pre-existing online jihadist logistics                dear brother, I used to think you were                continue to treat the denizens of Ansar
groups (such as the al-Fajr Media Center              from Somalia, and I ask you to contact                al-Mujahideen and other similar online
or the Global Islamic Media Front). In                the brothers and make sure about the                  “troll factories” as nothing more than
this sense, Abu Omar envisions Ansar                  journey.” 18 Abu Aeisha replied:                      useless “armchair jihadists.”
al-Mujahideen not merely as a fixed
online discussion forum, but as a multi-                  I can arrange with one of the                     It is dangerous, however, to write off
tiered rival to al-Fajr and the GIMF in                   brothers, but I don’t know this                   the threat posed by members of the
the competitive jihadist media market.                    brother well, and I don’t want                    Ansar al-Mujahideen forum. While
He contacted a representative of a                        to throw away what I have here                    their language and approach may seem
fringe Palestinian militant faction in                    without some assurances and                       immature, and even juvenile at times,
Gaza known as “Jaish al-Ummah” and                        reliability, and I am in nature very              the often unsung accomplishments of the
reported back that “they are in need of                   careful dealing with the security                 administrators and users are beginning
support to produce their productions,                     aspect, and I don’t speak about                   to have a measurable impact in terms
and they ask us for this.” 15 Abu Omar                    these issues until I am certain. But              of promoting terrorism and terrorist
forwarded an excerpt from their formal                    with you, despite the fact that I                 organizations—and these young men
request to other forum administrators:                    haven’t known you for more than a                 and women have repeatedly declared
“Brothers, we ask you to prepare an                       month or so, my heart feels warmth                their intention to carry their mission
introductory segment for our films, and a                 towards you, and I ask Allah to                   into the real world. Their postings echo
conclusion…while leaving suitable space                   group me with you in the highest                  precisely the same language of Jordanian
in the introduction to write on it the name               ranks of paradise. Brother, just as a             doctor Humam al-Balawi (also known
of each new operation we undertake.” 16                   reminder, I know one of the Somali                as Abu Dujana al-Khurasani), who was
                                                          brothers who I met in another                     once a prominent online “jihobbyist” 21
The various endeavors undertaken                          country, and this brother resides in              and was likewise written off as an
by Abu Omar and other Ansar al-                           the city of Medina—can he transport               eccentric until he blew himself up at
Mujahideen administrators appear to be                    the brothers to Somalia! And since                a Central Intelligence Agency base in
bearing fruit and gaining momentum.                       you are a resident in Medina, I’ll                southeastern Afghanistan at the behest
An official communiqué distributed by                     send you the brother’s name and his               of the Pakistani Taliban.
the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the                   description so you can ask him for
Afghan Taliban) on October 7, 2009                        his phone number, and so I can call               Certainly, the fringe threats flourishing
identified the Ansar al-Mujahideen                        him, and Inshallah he will assist                 on jihadist web forums may seem a bit
website as one of only three online                       us. 19                                            overly ambitious and theatrical, but in
discussion forums recommended as                                                                            the wake of recent troubling incidents,
suitable venues to obtain the latest                  Abu Aeisha added,                                     such as the suicide attack by Humam al-
statements and video from the Afghan                                                                        Balawi and the Ft. Hood massacre, they
mujahidin. 17 It may not have been an                     I give you another piece of                       cannot be taken lightly.
official endorsement, but it was a clear                  information, that I am from
recognition of how high the star of                       Morocco, meaning from Africa,                     Evan Kohlmann is a co-founder and senior
Ansar al-Mujahideen has risen, despite                    and the distance between me and                   consultant with Flashpoint Global Partners.
its rather humble origins.                                Somalia isn’t easy. I had prepared                Mr. Kohlmann holds a B.S.F.S. from the
                                                          for this once before with another                 School of Foreign Service at Georgetown
                                                          brother, but Allah eased our fate.                University, and a J.D. from the University
13 This quote was available at       Yes, we have adopted the methods                  of Pennsylvania Law School. He currently
private.php?do=showpm&pmid=74.                            of high technology, and I ask of                  works as a terrorism analyst for the NEFA
14 Ibid.                                                  you brother for your address on                   Foundation and NBC News.
15 This quote was available at       [Instant] Messenger so we can
private.php?do=showpm&pmid=166.                                                                             20 This quote was available at
16 Ibid.                                              18 This quote was available at   private.php?do=showpm&pmid=411.
17 This was posted on        private.php?do=showpm&pmid=391.                       21 “Jihobbyist” is a term coined by counterterrorism ana-
showthread.php?t=87055 on October 7, 2009.            19 Ibid.                                              lyst Jarret Brachman.

                                                                                                                                   FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

Al-Qa`ida and Hamas:                                           al-Qa`ida does not want to cooperate                     disavowal), and Islamic land. In al-
                                                               with “moderate” Muslims who are                          Qa`ida’s view, the leadership of Hamas
The Limits of Salafi-Jihadi                                    willing to use the electoral process to                  violated these unchanging constants,
Pragmatism                                                     create a state—a statement that seems                    took itself outside the religion of Islam,
                                                               reasonable, given the timing of the split.               and therefore could no longer expect
By Mary Habeck                                                 A further explanation for the tensions                   help from other Salafi-jihadis.
                                                               between al-Qa`ida and Hamas, however,
in 2006, the salafi-jihadi world was                           is necessary. 5                                          Tawhid
rocked by a surprising controversy: al-                                                                                 After Hamas won a decisive victory
Qa`ida’s second-in-command, Ayman al-                          Understanding the reason for the                         in the January 2006 elections for the
Zawahiri, issued a rebuke to Hamas for                         conflict from al-Qa`ida’s perspective has                Palestinian Legislative Council, al-
participating in the secular government                        implications for determining possible                    Qa`ida abruptly changed its earlier
in Palestine. By the end of 2007, after 12                     future actions by its followers. The                     supportive messages for the group. 6
separate statements criticizing Hamas,                         leaders of al-Qa`ida rejected an obvious                 In early March, al-Zawahiri issued a
Usama bin Ladin announced that Hamas                           ally for their jihad in Hamas, showing                   stern warning to the Hamas leadership,
had “lost its religion,” a declaration that                    the limits of cooperation between al-                    cautioning them that taking power
was mirrored in combat between Salafi-                         Qa`ida and other ideologically similar                   was only valid when it was used to
jihadi militants aligned with al-Qa`ida                        groups. Al-Qa`ida also criticized the                    establish God’s rule on earth through
and Hamas fighters on the streets of                           pathway to power taken by Hamas—                         implementing Shari`a (Islamic law).
Gaza. 1 During the next two years, both                        participation in an electoral process.                   Any other form of government would be
the war of words and physical clashes                          Al-Qa`ida reaffirmed its commitment                      a different religion. 7 Bin Ladin reiterated
expanded until the conflict culminated                                                                                  the warning a month later, supporting
in a gun battle over a Gaza mosque in                          “Al-Qa`ida and other                                     the objectives of Hamas while stating
July 2009. Although Hamas defeated                                                                                      that it was impermissible to participate
their al-Qa`ida-affiliated, Salafi-jihadi                      Salafi-jihadi groups hold                                in “polytheistic councils.” 8 In December,
rivals, some observers believe that this                       a few core principles                                    al-Zawahiri’s tone was more combative,
was only the first round in an ongoing                                                                                  bluntly asserting that Hamas should
war.                                                           upon which they will not                                 never have participated in the elections
                                                               compromise even if a more                                at all as long as there was a secular,
There are multiple explanations for the                                                                                 rather than Islamic, constitution in
friction between Hamas and al-Qa`ida.                          pragmatic course promises                                Palestine. 9 In March 2007, al-Zawahiri
The fact that al-Qa`ida and its Salafi-                        to lead to success.”                                     declared that the Hamas leadership, in
jihadi followers are independent from                                                                                   signing the Mecca agreement, was now
Hamas’ control and have attempted to                                                                                    lost; “doctrinal deviation,” he said, “has
subsume the Palestinian question might                                                                                  facilitated behavioral deviation.” 10
be enough to explain the conflict. 2                           to fighting and stated through its
It is also possible that the conflict is                       actions that it is not amenable to a                     The abrupt change in al-Qa`ida’s view
between al-Qa`ida’s vision of a global                         more peaceful and stealthier method for                  of Hamas is striking and tied explicitly
jihad versus Hamas’ local jihad. 3                             seizing control of a region or country.                  to the participation of the Palestinian
This seems a possible explanation for                          The incident shows, in fact, that al-                    group in the elections. Yet what was it
Hamas’ actions, but too weak to explain                        Qa`ida and other Salafi-jihadi groups                    about the elections that caused so much
why the conflict was started by al-                            hold a few core principles upon which                    consternation on the part of al-Qa`ida’s
Qa`ida-inspired groups. 4 It may be that                       they will not compromise even if a more                  leaders? Al-Zawahiri was quite clear
                                                               pragmatic course promises to lead to                     in his first statement that the failure
1 Usama bin Ladin, “The Way to Contain the Conspira-           success.                                                 of Hamas to apply Shari`a, one of the
cies,” al-Sahab, December 2007.
2 Yet the Hamas leadership did not initially confront the      A study of the fundamentals of al-                       6 See, for example, Khalid al-Hamadi, “Interview with
global Salafi-jihadis active in Gaza and in fact allowed the   Qa`ida’s faith might help policymakers                   Nasir Ahmad Nasir Abdallah al-Bahri (Abu-Jandal):
group to grow for some time—perhaps as long as three           better understand when the group is                      Part Eight,” al-Quds al-Arabi, March 26, 2005; “State-
years—before taking decisive action. See “Abbas Says al        likely to take a stand upon principle                    ment From Al Qaida On The Martyrdom Of Shaykh
Qaeda in Gaza,” Washington Times, March 2, 2006; Ali           rather than take the realist route that                  Yasin,”, March 24, 2004; “Full
Waked, “Al-Qaeda Affiliate Burns Coffee Shop in Gaza           outsiders might predict. The clash with                  Text: ‘Bin Laden Tape,’” BBC, April 15, 2004.
Strip,” Israel News, October 8, 2006.                          Hamas has been so intense because it                     7 “Al-Zawahiri Urges Hamas to Ignore Deals With Is-
3 Kim Cragin, “Al Qaeda Confronts Hamas: Divisions             is based on al-Qa`ida’s commitment to                    rael,” al-Jazira, March 4, 2006.
in the Sunni Jihadist Movement and its Implications for        not one, but four key elements: tawhid,                  8 Usama bin Ladin, “Oh People of Islam,” al-Sahab,
U.S. Policy,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 32:7 (2009):   jihad, al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ (loyalty and                  April 2006.
pp. 576-590, has a sophisticated discussion of the con-                                                                 9 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Realities of the Conflict Between
flict. Cragin concludes that al-Qa`ida’s ideological com-      Ladin, and Abu `Umar al-Baghdadi, see www.nefafoun-      Islam and Unbelief,” al-Sahab, December 2006.
mitments to global jihad and against democracy explain        10 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Palestine is Our Business and
the conflict, although she does not delve into from where      5 Jake Lipton, “The War of Words between Hamas and       the Business of Every Muslim,” audio statement, March
these two commitments spring.                                  al-Qaeda,” The Washington Institute for Near East Pol-   11, 2007. See also “Interview with Shaykh Ayman al-
4 For this claim of a relationship with Mullah Omar, Bin       icy, June 28, 2007.                                      Zawahiri,” al-Sahab, May 5, 2007.

                                                                                                                                     FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

pillars of tawhid according to the `aqida                    Jihad                                                        al-Qa`ida’s messages to Hamas is that
(tenets of belief) of Salafi-jihadis, meant                  Al-Qa`ida’s conclusion that Hamas had                        the fight in Palestine is the business
that they were no longer following the                       abandoned tawhid was but one of the                          of the entire Islamic community, not
religion of Islam. Within the context of                     charges leveled against the group. From                      the prerogative of one group, and that
al-Qa`ida’s particular interpretation of                     the time of the election, al-Zawahiri and                    Hamas needs to carry out the jihad with
the religion, known as Salafi-jihadism,                      other al-Qa`ida leaders also warned                          all honest fighters (including al-Qa`ida
it is entirely consistent.                                   Hamas not to succumb to U.S. pressure                        fighters). 19 Hamas should not, as al-
                                                             to stop violent resistance against Israel.                   Zawahiri said, isolate the mujahidin
Tawhid, the belief that there is only one God                There were two reasons provided for                          inside from the mujahidin outside. 20
and He alone should be worshipped, is                        continuing the armed struggle. First,                        There should be one battle, with all the
the core of Islam. 11 Salafi-jihadis believe                 al-Zawahiri warned that “every way                           mujahidin fighting as one community,
a correct adherence to the principle of                      other than jihad will only lead us to                        under one religion, and against one
tawhid includes a literal obedience to all                   loss and failure,” since attempting to                       enemy. 21 More practically, jihad in
laws ordered upon man in the Qur’an                          free any place occupied by the infidels                      Afghanistan, Iraq and other theaters
and sunna. To rule by anything other                         through elections would never liberate                       was jihad for Palestine, and if Hamas
than what Allah has revealed, they so                        even “one grain of sand,” but would                          limited the war to its small region, the
frequently argue, is an act of apostasy.                     simply smother the jihad and keep out                        enemy would surround and cut them
Only God is sovereign and only He can                        the mujahidin. 16 Far more importantly,                      off. 22
legislate or make laws. Following this                       he quoted `Abdullah `Azzam to show
line of reasoning, democracy is a foreign                    that jihad had been commanded by God                         Al-wala’ wa’l-bara’
religion and a form of polytheism. Any                       and was an individual duty on every                          The vision of a global jihad was
Muslim who supports or engages in                            Muslim in places such as Palestine that                      related to the third principle that the
democracy, including elections under                         were occupied by the unbelievers. 17                         Hamas leadership had abandoned: an
a democratic system, has therefore left                                                                                   allegiance to other Palestinians above
true tawhid and become an apostate. 12                       Al-Zawahiri’s use of the term “individual                    the overall Muslim community. Al-
                                                             duty” is exceptionally important, since                      Qa`ida leaders and allied clergy have
It is only through the lens of this                          Salafi-jihadis believe that there are                        written extensively against nationalism,
ideological    commitment     that   the                     two forms of jihad: the “individual                          emphasizing that Muslims share a bond
controversy in 2007 can be understood.                       duty” (fard `ayn) and the “collective                        that is far more important than ethnic
In June of that year, al-Zawahiri argued                     duty” (fard kifayya). An individual duty                     or national identity. 23 This belief is
that there were ideological constants in                     is a command from God, like the daily                        founded on a concept called al-wala’ wa’l-
the current struggle and that the Hamas                      prayer, fasting, or giving charity, which                    bara’ (loyalty and disavowal), a term used
leadership had crossed clear “red lines”                     each Muslim must carry out to avoid                          by Salafi-jihadis to describe the love that
when it decided to abandon Shari`a                           sinning. Collective duties, on the other                     a Muslim has for other Muslims and,
and accept the rule of the majority                          hand, can be carried out by a small part                     conversely, the hatred and aversion for
(democracy). 13   Al-Qa`ida    operative                     of the community (such as a regular                          infidels that Muslims should display. 24
Abu Yahya al-Libi’s condemnation of                          army) and the masses are therefore                           In practical terms, this principle means
Hamas contrasted the infidel religion                        excused from participation. According                        that Muslims should only ally and
of democracy with the true religion of                       to Salafi-jihadis, whenever the Islamic                      work with other Muslims, regardless of
God, which was based on all sovereignty                      community is under attack or its land
belonging to Him. 14 More pointedly, by                      occupied, it becomes an individual duty,                     19 Abu `Umar al-Baghdadi, “Message: The Religion Is
participating in democratic processes,                       fard `ayn, for every Muslim—men, women                       Advice,” audio statement, February 21, 2008.
al-Qa`ida operative Mustafa Abu’l-                           and children—to take up arms and fight                       20 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Realities of the Conflict Between
Yazid stated that the Hamas leadership                       jihad until its land is liberated. To refuse                 Islam and Unbelief,” al-Sahab, December 2006.
had nullified their Islam and become                         to do so is at least a sin and might mean                    21 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Malicious Britain and its Indian
infidels. 15                                                 that one is not even a Muslim at all. 18                     Slaves,” al-Sahab, July 2007.
                                                                                                                          22 “The West and the Dark Tunnel,” Part 2, al-Fajr Me-
                                                             Al-Qa`ida’s rejection of a peaceful                          dia Center and al-Sahab, September 22, 2009.
11 This is why the term is generally translated as “mono-    solution for the Palestine-Israel conflict                   23 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Video: The Correct Equation,”
theism,” although this is a rather misleading rendition of   is thus absolute, based on both practical                    al-Sahab, December 2006/January 2007; Ayman al-
the word. A better translation would be “absolute one-       and ideological reasons, as is their                         Zawahiri, “Tremendous Lessons and Events In the Year
ness” [of God].                                              rejection of a limitation of the jihad to                    1427 AH,” al-Sahab, February 2007; Shari`a Council of
12 For the best explication of this view of tawhid, see      that region alone. A constant theme in                       The Al-Qa`ida Network in the Land of the Two Rivers,
Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, “Democracy – a Religion!”                                                                        “Islam is Our Citizenship!” at-Tibyan Publications, un-
available at          16 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Realities of the Conflict Between     dated; The Sharia Committee of Jaish Abu Bakr al-Siddiq
a-Religion-Abu-Muhammad-alMaqdisi.                           Islam and Unbelief,” al-Sahab, December 2006.                al-Salafi, “Nationalism and Jihad,” December 21, 2008,
13 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Forty Years Since the Fall of Je-     17 Al-Zawahiri, “Palestine is Our Business and the Busi-     available at
rusalem,” al-Sahab, June 25, 2007.                           ness of Every Muslim.”                                       24 Perhaps the first use of the term, and still one of the
14 Abu Yahya al-Libi, “Palestine, Warning Call and Cau-      18   See, for example, `Abdullah `Azzam, Defence of          best explications of it, was by Muhammad Saeed al-
tioning Cry,” al-Sahab, April 30, 2007.                      Muslim Lands. The First Obligation After Iman, especially    Qahtani in his master’s thesis Al-Wala’ wa’l Bara’ (Lon-
15 “Interview with Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, General Offi-       Chapter 3: Fard ‘Ayn and Fard Kifayya. This book is avail-   don: al-Firdous Ltd, 1992). One of his advisers for the the-
cial of al-Qa’ida in Khurasan,” al-Sahab, May 26, 2007.      able at                sis was Muhammad Qutb, the brother of Sayyid Qutb.

                                                                                                                               FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

their national origin, while refusing to                 to the “Jews,” and taken away Palestine                    The Solution
work with, ally with, or befriend non-                   from the Islamic community. 29                             The decision to confront Hamas was
Muslims, even if they are part of one’s                                                                             thus a natural conclusion given the
family.                                                  The fundamental tenet that Hamas                           group’s rejection of these fundamental
                                                         had violated, al-Qa`ida argued, was                        principles. Throughout 2006 and 2007,
In the context of the conflict with                      that no piece of land ever held by the                     al-Qa`ida had a consistent message for
Hamas, al-Qa`ida argued that the group                   Muslim community—not even a grain of                       Hamas’ leadership: the only way to end
should not put Palestinian interests                     sand—could be given to the infidels. 30                    the conflict was to return to true tawhid,
above Islam or work with nationalist                     One might be tempted to equate this                        foreswear international agreements that
groups such as Fatah, and it should                      belief with a view of Palestine accepted                   gave away Islamic land, take up jihad
not forget that Hamas’ true friends and                  by Hamas—that Palestine is waqf (an                        once again, and work with al-Qa`ida. At
allies are their fellow Muslims around                   inalienable religious endowment), and                      the same time, al-Zawahiri, Abu Yahya
the world. 25 Abu Yahya al-Libi charged                  its land therefore cannot be sold or given                 al-Libi, Abu’l-Yazid and others reached
that nationalism and Palestinian unity                   away. 31 Al-Qa`ida’s views, however, go                    out to the ordinary members of Hamas,
had become the foundation of Hamas’                      beyond this interpretation and declare                     making a clear distinction between the
relations and ties, to the point that it                 every bit of territory ever held by “Islam”                “honest” mujahidin—at times equated
was impossible to differentiate between                  as inalienable. As al-Zawahiri noted,                      with the Qassam Brigades 34 —and the
Hamas and secular movements. 26 In                                                                                  corrupt leadership. 35
a lengthier condemnation of Hamas,
he called al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ “in doctrine,              “Al-Qa`ida leaders and                                     After July 2007, as Hamas began
concept, behavior, and action” the                       allied clergy have written                                 cracking down on affiliates ideologically
“strongest knot of faith,” and one of                                                                               allied with al-Qa`ida in Gaza and
the most important principles on which                   extensively against                                        elsewhere, the tone changed. Now
the jihadist methodology was founded.                    nationalism, emphasizing                                   the invective from al-Qa`ida directed
Loyalty meant that the Muslims were                                                                                 toward Hamas matched that pointed at
one nation, and that nothing connected                   that Muslims share a bond                                  other ideological enemies; guns were
with the Muslims was an internal issue.                  that is far more important                                 turned against fellow Muslims, and
Disavowal implied unending hostility                                                                                there were calls for insurrection by the
and fighting polytheists (as Hamas was                   than ethnic or national                                    “honest” mujahidin against the Hamas
becoming) until all on earth submitted                   identity.”                                                 leadership. 36 In al-Qa`ida’s version of
to God’s laws. 27                                                                                                   events, doctrinal deviation had led to
                                                                                                                    methodological deviation. It was Hamas
Islamic Land                                                                                                        that had sinned and rejected God: now
Finally, in response to Hamas’ decision                  “the recovery of every land which was                      they would pay with open war. 37
to    sign   international   agreements                  once a land of Islam is the individual
such as the Mecca accords, al-Qa`ida                     duty of every Muslim. Therefore, as                        Dr. Mary Habeck is an Associate Professor
charged the group with trading land                      Muslims, we cannot possibly concede                        in Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins
for peace, betraying the cause of the                    to Israel so much as a hand-span of                        School of Advanced International Studies
Palestinian jihad. In return, it received                Palestine.” 32 By every bit of land, al-                   (SAIS), where she teaches courses on
nothing from the United States and the                   Zawahiri meant even lost Andalusia—                        military history and strategic thought.
international community: the embargo                     which he and other al-Qa`ida leaders
still continued, Fatah received all the                  have consistently described as invaded
aid, and the Israelis were continuing                    and occupied Muslim territory—let
their “crimes” against Muslims. 28 Al-                   alone more recently “lost” lands such as
Zawahiri first mentioned this issue in                   Palestine. 33 If Hamas would not change
March 2006, but made it a central part of                its mind about giving away Palestine,
his rejection of Hamas in 2007 when the                  then the group needed to be opposed in
leadership signed the Mecca agreement,                   order to follow God’s orders and liberate
and it was decried by each of Hamas’                     the land from the infidels.
al-Qa`ida critics throughout 2007. By
mid-2007, al-Zawahiri would state that
Hamas had given four-fifths of Palestine                                                                            34 The Qassam Brigades is the military wing of Hamas.
                                                         29 Ibid.                                                   35 This is a consistent theme in statements by al-Qa`ida’s
25 Abu Yahya al-Libi, “Palestine, Warning Call and       30 “Al-Zawahiri Urges Hamas to Ignore Deals With Is-       leadership on the Hamas conflict between 2006-2007.
Cautioning Cry,” al-Sahab, April 30, 2007; “Interview    rael,” al-Jazira, March 4, 2006.                           36 “Ultimatum to HAMAS, Al-Qassam Brigades,” al-
of Abu Yahya al-Libi by al-Sahab Media,” al-Fajr Media   31 See, for example, Shaykh Atiyatallah, “Shaykh Ay-       Sawarim Media Institute, July 2, 2007; Abu `Umar al-
Center, September 10, 2007.                              man: We Hold Him To Be a Preacher of Right-Guidance        Baghdadi, “They Plotted and Planned, and Allah Too
26 Al-Libi, “Palestine, Warning Call and Cautioning      and Pure Tawhid,” March 14, 2007.                          Planned,” al-Furqan Media Productions, September 15,
Cry.”                                                    32 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “Realities of the Conflict Between   2007; Al-Baghdadi, “Message: The Religion Is Advice.”
27 “Interview of Abu Yahya al-Libi by al-Sahab Media.”   Islam and Unbelief,” al-Sahab, December 2006.              37 Abdullah Haidar Shai’, “Hamas-Shattering of the Im-
28 Ayman al-Zawahiri, “The Advice of One Concerned,”     33 Al-Zawahiri, “Palestine is Our Business and the Busi-   age,” Global Islamic Media Front and Dar al-Murabiteen
al-Sahab, July 2007.                                     ness of Every Muslim.”                                     Publications, December 22, 2009.

                                                                                                                                         FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

                                                              to arrive from regional battlefields 4 —                       Although the operation was a success,
Lebanon at Risk from                                          constitute the new threat in Lebanon.                          the enemy did not suffer a total defeat,
Salafi-Jihadi Terrorist Cells                                 It is assumed that these cells, aided by                       as evidenced by the fact that on the last
                                                              al-Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI) and al-Qa`ida                          day of the battle a few dozen militants
By Bilal Y. saab                                              in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP),                               managed to escape. Several were caught
                                                              are now pursuing al-Qa`ida’s goals in                          in the hills to the east, but their leader
lebanon faces no real danger in                               Lebanon: attack the United Nations
the foreseeable future of al-Qa`ida                           Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), 5                           “UNIFIL continues to be
establishing an organized insurgent                           destabilize and sow terror in the
presence in the country. 1 The basic,                         domestic political scene, and try to
                                                                                                                             at risk of another terrorist
societal   conditions   for    such   an                      ignite another war between Hizb Allah                          attack, the lethality of
ambitious and demanding enterprise                            and Israel by launching rockets from
are non-existent. In Lebanon, what al-                        southern Lebanon into northern Israel.
                                                                                                                             which this time could be
Qa`ida represents—a takfiri ideology, a                       This article assesses the nature of the                        greater than in the past.”
militant agenda, and a radical political                      threat posed by these terrorist cells to
vision—has yet to capture the interest of                     the stability of Lebanon and the security
the Lebanese Sunni Islamic community,                         of UNIFIL.
with its many different factions. While                                                                                      Shakir     al-Abssi and a few of his close
al-Qa`ida may have recently made                              nahr al-Bared: The Day After                                   aides,     including the Saudi national
headways in Yemen, Somalia, and in                            The 105-day battle between the Salafi-                         Obeid      Mubarak Abd al-Kafeel, 8 were
other weak states around the world,                           jihadi group Fatah al-Islam and the                            able to    evade the dragnet.
these gains are extremely difficult if                        Lebanese army in the summer of 2007
not impossible to replicate in a country                      ended with a resounding defeat of                              With its leader in hiding at the time,
such as Lebanon. Acknowledging                                the group and the destruction of the                           Fatah al-Islam eventually transformed
the difficulty of creating a Lebanese                         Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-                           from a centralized insurgent group
franchise, it is likely that al-Qa`ida                        Bared. 6 With Fatah al-Islam crushed,                          into a loose network of terrorist cells. 9
has switched its strategy and gone                            the group’s plot to create a Salafi-jihadi                     “The battle is over and we won,” one
underground. 2                                                insurgency in northern Lebanon and                             Lebanese army general stated, “but
                                                              establish a radical Islamic state with                         the war has just started.” 10 Today, a
Clandestine terrorist cells—some of                           Tripoli as its capital was averted. 7                          nonstop,    largely    behind-the-scenes
which are homegrown and remnants of                                                                                          intelligence war is raging between the
Fatah al-Islam, 3 while others continue                       4 Personal correspondence, senior Lebanese army gen-
                                                                                                                             Lebanese counterterrorism services and
                                                              eral who is a close aide to Deputy Director of Army In-
                                                                                                                             the terrorist cells. The outcome of this
                                                              telligence Abbas Ibrahim, August 2009. The army gen-
                                                                                                                             war will have important repercussions
1 For more on the reasons why al-Qa`ida has failed to es-     eral specifically mentioned the battlefields of Iraq and the
                                                                                                                             on the present and future stability
tablish an insurgent base in Lebanon, please see Bilal Y.     Arabian Peninsula. He also suspected that some funding
                                                                                                                             of Lebanon and perhaps that of its
Saab, “Al-Qa`ida’s Presence and Influence in Lebanon,”        was coming from private sources in the Gulf, not from of-
CTC Sentinel 1:12 (2008).                                     ficial government bodies.
2 This is an assumption made by the author, supported         5 Originally, UNIFIL was created by the Security Coun-         8 Obeid Mubarak Abd al-Kafeel is a Saudi national and
by his reading of local events on the ground before and       cil in March 1978 to confirm Israel’s withdrawal from          a senior member of Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon. He par-
after the battle of Nahr al-Bared in summer 2007. Of          Lebanon, restore international peace and security and          ticipated in the battle of Nahr al-Bared and lost his left
course, no leader belonging to al-Qa`ida central or to        assist the Lebanese government in restoring its effective      eye due to a severe injury. With Shakir al-Abssi, he man-
any of its franchises in the Middle East has made a pub-      authority in the area. The mandate had to be adjusted          aged to escape on the last day of fighting to the nearby vil-
lic statement detailing a switch in strategy in Lebanon.      twice, due to developments in 1982 and 2000. Following         lage of Markabta and then to the northern refugee camp
For more on the author’s analysis of events in Lebanon        the summer 2006 war between Hizb Allah and Israel,             of Baddawi, with the help of Lebanese Shaykh Hamza
before and after summer 2007, please see Saab, “Al-           the Council enhanced the force and decided that in addi-       Kassem and Khaled Seif. Abd al-Kafeel stayed in Shaykh
Qa`ida’s Presence and Influence in Lebanon,” and Bilal        tion to the original mandate, it would, among other tasks,     Kassem’s house until his wounds healed. He later met
Y. Saab and Magnus Ranstorp, “Fatah al Islam: How an          monitor the cessation of hostilities, accompany and sup-       Abu Hajer with whom he conducted the terrorist opera-
Ambitious Jihadist Project Went Awry,” The Brookings          port the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy through-         tions in Masaref district and al-Bahsas street. For more
Institution and the Swedish National Defence College,         out the south of Lebanon, and extend its assistance to         on Abd al-Kafeel, please see Ali Moussawi, “Sari: The
November 28, 2007.                                            help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations        Saudi al-Kafeel Executed the Damascus Bombing and
3 Fatah al-Islam is a Salafi-jihadi group that is inspired    and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.        Helped Jawhar in the Making of Bombs for al-Tall and
by al-Qa`ida’s ideology. Its links to al-Qa`ida in Iraq are   As of October 31, 2009, UNIFIL’s force consists of 30          al-Bahsas,” al-Safir, November 12, 2009.
verifiable and its members are mostly Arabs from vari-        troop contributing countries with a total of 12,410 peace-     9 For more analysis on Fatah al-Islam’s transformation,
ous Middle Eastern countries. It emerged in the Nahr al-      keepers stationed in southern Lebanon. For details, visit      please see Saab and Ranstorp, “Fatah al Islam: How an
Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon in November         the official website of UNIFIL at www.unifil.unmissions.       Ambitious Jihadist Project Went Awry”; Bilal Y. Saab
2006. Its goals are unclear but include the establishment     org.                                                           and Magnus Ranstorp, “Securing Lebanon from the
of an Islamic state in northern Lebanon, with Tripoli as      6 The reconstruction of Nahr al-Bared is presently un-         Threat of Salafist Jihadism,” Studies in Conflict and Terror-
its capital. In summer 2007, it fought the Lebanese army      derway.                                                        ism 30:10 (2007): pp. 825-855.
for more than three months in an effort to establish an       7 For more on Fatah al-Islam’s strategy, please see Saab       10 Personal interview, senior Lebanese military intel-
insurgent presence in the north. The uprising failed and      and Ranstorp, “Fatah al Islam: How an Ambitious Jihad-         ligence officer who currently has a leading role in the
the Lebanese army eventually crushed the group.               ist Project Went Awry.”                                        counterterrorism campaign in the north, August 2009.

                                                                                                                                       FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

A new Threat: Salafi-Jihadi Terrorist Cells                    of the cells lacked the human and                            Muslims in general. 19 Months later, Abu
According to Lebanese press reports,                           technical resources necessary to wage                        Hajer stopped teaching and decided
soon after he fled the battlefield on                          any sustained terrorist campaign                             to more deeply involve himself in the
September 2, 2007, Shakir al-Abssi                             against the Lebanese authorities. 16 Most                    Salafi-jihadi movement in Lebanon.
handed over the leadership of Fatah al-                        importantly, the remaining terrorists’                       Unable to travel to Iraq due to security
Islam to Abdel Rahman Mohamad Awad                             drive and determination were low. One                        reasons, he went to Ain al-Hilwah to
(also known as Abu Mohamad Shahrour),                          notable exception was Abdel Ghani Ali                        mingle with fellow Salafi-jihadis. 20
Ousama Amine al-Shahabi (also known                            Jawhar (also known as Abu Hajer) who
as Abu al-Zahra), and Ghazi Faysal                                                                                          Once at the camp, Abu Hajer reportedly
Abdullah, three suspected Palestinian                          “The assumption is that                                      underwent intensive military training at
terrorists based in the refugee camp of                                                                                     the hands of Jund al-Sham, 21 a militant
Ain al-Hilwah. 11 The northern region,                         as long as Jund al-Sham                                      Islamist group, learning how to engage
al-Abssi possibly calculated, was                              exists, Fatah al-Islam’s                                     in combat and plant explosives. 22
now under heavy surveillance by the                                                                                         Soon after his preparations, he was
Lebanese military intelligence services                        cells in the north, led by                                   appointed by Fatah al-Islam’s three
and was clearly not a favorable location                       terrorist-at-large Abu                                       leaders in the camp as the group’s point
for    any   terrorist      re-mobilization                                                                                 man in the north. 23 During a period of
campaign. Ain al-Hilwah was an ideal,                          Hajer, will continue to                                      two months, Abu Hajer would form his
although temporary spot where the                              receive supplies of men                                      own 11-person cell by enlisting young,
terrorists could uninterruptedly plan                                                                                       poor, and alienated recruits from his
ways to regroup. 12                                            and materiel, making it                                      hometown of Bibnine, starting with
                                                               more difficult for Lebanese                                  his brother Mohamad Ali Jawhar and
The instructions from al-Abssi, whose                                                                                       including Isaac al-Sayyed al-Sabsabi,
fate is unclear to this day, 13 were clear                     counterterrorism services                                    Imama al-Sayyed al-Sabsabi, Omar
and simple: to avenge the deaths of the                        to combat the threat.”                                       al-Sabsabi, Abdel Karim Mustapha,
Muslim fighters who died waging jihad                                                                                       Rashid Mustapha, Razan al-Khaled,
against the “crusader” Lebanese army                                                                                        Ayman al-Hindawi, Rabi’ al-‘Ouweyid
in Nahr al-Bared. 14 The three men’s                                                                                        and Marwan al-Khaled. 24 Abu Hajer
first job was to “test the pulse” of the                       would eventually become the leading                          indoctrinated his followers at the
Salafi-jihadi scene in the north and re-                       coordinator of the terrorist cells in the                    “Islah” mosque in Bibnine, explaining
awaken the cells that were lying low in                        north. Abu Hajer’s role is crucial to                        to them the need to fight the “infidels,”
Tripoli. 15 What they found, however,                          the mobilization and re-activation of                        be they Lebanese Shi`a Muslims or the
was not necessarily reassuring: many                           the Salafi-jihadi movement in Lebanon                        Lebanese army. 25
                                                               following the battle of Nahr al-Bared.
11 Ali Moussawi, “Mezher Orders Capital Punishment                                                                          After receiving the news of Abu Hajer
for Members of Fatah al-Islam Including Awad, Shaha-           Abu Hajer is a 32-year-old Lebanese                          and what he was able to accomplish
bi, and Jawhar,” al-Safir, September 14, 2009.                 Sunni Muslim from the small northern                         in his hometown, Fatah al-Islam’s
12 The Ain al-Hilwah Palestinian refugee camp is re-           town of Bibnine. 17 After earning a                          leadership in Ain al-Hilwah decided
portedly a recruiting ground for Salafi-jihadi currents in     diploma in laboratory studies at the                         to offer him extra help. 26 Mohamad
Lebanon. Located in the southeastern part of Sidon’s port      age of 21 from a technical school in                         Mahmoud Azzam, an explosives expert
and reputed to be the most impoverished and radical Pal-       Qobbeh, Tripoli, he taught Salafism in                       who participated in the war in Iraq and
estinian refugee camp in the Arab world, Ain al-Hilwah         several religious institutes and private
is home to about 75,000 refugees. The four entrances to        households based in the Wadi al-Jamous                       19 Personal interview, Shaykh Abdullah Mas’oud, Trip-
Ain al-Hilwah are controlled by the Lebanese army. In-         area. 18 According to Shaykh Abdullah                        oli, Lebanon, July 2009.
ternal security, however, is maintained by rival Palestin-     Mas’oud, who has lived in Bibnine for                        20 “Biography of Abu Hajer.”
ian groups, ranging from the extreme left to the extreme       more than 64 years, very few students                        21 Jund al-Sham is a title claimed by several Sunni Is-
right. Since Ain al-Hilwah’s creation, it has been the pol-    attended Abu Hajer’s class, often citing                     lamic extremist entities, all or none of which may be con-
icy of successive Lebanese governments to instruct the         to their friends his uncompromising                          nected. These entities mostly operate in Lebanon, Syria
army to refrain from entering the area for fear of clashing    style of teaching and his extremist views                    and Jordan, and their goals include the establishment of
with reportedly more than a dozen militant factions all        on Shi`a Muslims in particular and non-                      an Islamic caliphate throughout the Levant. During the
competing for influence inside the camp.                                                                                    battle of Nahr al-Bared, Jund al-Sham fighters joined Fa-
13 Since the end of the battle of Nahr al-Bared, conflict-     16 This is the story recounted by captured terrorist Isaac   tah al-Islam in their fight against the Lebanese army.
ing reports have circulated in the Arab and foreign media      al-Sabsabi, parts of which were covered in al-Safir news-    22 “Biography of Abu Hajer.”
concerning the fate of al-Abssi. It is still unclear whether   paper on September 14, 2009. See Moussawi, “Mezher           23 Ibid.
al-Abssi was captured or killed by Syrian forces while         Orders Capital Punishment for Members of Fatah al-           24 Moussawi, “Sari: The Saudi al-Kafeel Executed the
trying to cross the Lebanese-Syrian border. For more           Islam Including Awad, Shahabi, and Jawhar.”                  Damascus Bombing and Helped Jawhar in the Making of
details, see “Fatah al-Islam Says Leader Ambushed in           17 The author was offered a copy of the biography of Abu     Bombs for al-Tall and al-Bahsas.”
Syria,” al-Arabiya, December 10, 2008.                         Hajer during a meeting in summer 2009 with several           25 Ibid.
14 Moussawi, “Mezher Orders Capital Punishment for             military intelligence officers in Yarzeh, the headquarters   26 This information is based on a report released by the
Members of Fatah al-Islam Including Awad, Shahabi,             of the Lebanese Ministry of Defense. Subsequent refer-       Lebanese military intelligence services, parts of which
and Jawhar.”                                                   ences are marked “Biography of Abu Hajer.”                   were covered in al-Safir newspaper on December 2,
15 Ibid.                                                       18 Ibid.                                                     2009.

                                                                                                                                     FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

who allegedly was a confidant of the late                  The Link to Ain al-Hilwah                                       end to the “problem of Jund al-Sham”
AQI amir Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi, 27 was                     While Abu Hajer was planning and                                in the camp. Jund al-Sham, a network
sent from the camp to Bibnine to meet                      conducting terrorist operations with                            of freelance Salafi-jihadi fighters that
with Abu Hajer, hand him a modest                          his aides in the north, the cells in Ain                        has a presence in Lebanon, Syria and
amount of money and teach him how to                       al-Hilwah were also actively involved                           Jordan, was the only Islamist force to
plant sophisticated plastic explosives                     in the campaign against the Lebanese                            heed Fatah al-Islam’s call for support
and roadside bombs for the purpose of                      authorities. In August 2009, the                                during its battle in Nahr al-Bared. On
attacking UNIFIL and Lebanese army                         Lebanese military intelligence services                         several occasions, Asbat al-Ansar tried
bases. 28 On May 31, 2008, Abu Hajer                       arrested Hamza al-Kasem, an aide to                             to contain Jund al-Sham by offering
managed to place six plastic explosives                    Abdel Rahman Mohamad Awad, one of                               membership to its fighters, but with
in the Lebanese military intelligence                      the three men now in charge of Fatah                            little success. 38 Jund al-Sham accused
base of Abdeh at 3:50 AM, only one of                      al-Islam’s cells in Ain al-Hilwah. 34                           Asbat al-Ansar of compromising its own
which exploded effectively, killing one                    Following interrogations with al-Kasem,                         Islamist credentials by cooperating with
soldier and injuring two during their                      he admitted that his boss was behind                            the “apostate” Lebanese authorities for
sleep. 29 Approximately a month later,                     the December 12, 2007 assassination of                          material political fortunes.
Abu Hajer asked two of his aides to                        Lebanese army general and director of
plant another bomb on the road leading                     operations Francois Hajj and the attacks                        Today, Jund al-Sham’s network and
to the Qolei’at Lebanese air force base                    against the Tanzanian, Spanish, and                             Fatah al-Islam’s cells in Ain al-Hilwah
where many army vehicles pass by on a                      Colombian peacekeepers in June and July                         are allied and uneasily co-existing with
daily basis. 30 Fortunately, the bomb did                  2007. 35 Awad’s cells are also suspected                        the other Palestinian factions in the
not explode and was eventually detected                    of killing Industry Minister Pierre                             camp including Fatah, Hamas, Asbat
and deactivated.                                           Gemayel in November 2006, Member                                al-Ansar, and al-Haraka al-Islamiyya
                                                           of Parliament Walid Eido in June 2007,                          al-Moujahida led by Jamal Khattab. The
On August 13, 2008, two cells linked                       and Lebanese Internal Security Forces                           assumption is that as long as Jund al-
to Abu Hajer led by Saudi national Abd                     Captain Wissam Eid in January 2008;                             Sham exists, Fatah al-Islam’s cells in
al-Kafeel (who later conducted a suicide                   no hard evidence, however, has so far                           the north, led by terrorist-at-large Abu
attack in Syria) assaulted Lebanese army                   surfaced linking Awad or Abu Hajer to                           Hajer, will continue to receive supplies
bases in the Masaref district and Bahsas                   these three assassinations. 36                                  of men and materiel, making it more
neighborhood in Tripoli. 31 On January                                                                                     difficult for Lebanese counterterrorism
15, 2009, Abu Hajer, according to local                    Soon after the battle of Nahr al-Bared                          services to combat the threat.
media, personally shot and killed George                   ended, Lebanese Deputy Chief of
Atieh, a Lebanese Christian drugstore                      Military Intelligence Abbas Ibrahim                             Conclusion
owner, for selling alcoholic beverages. 32                 entered Ain al-Hilwah with two of his                           Despite the substantial evidence that has
Following interrogations with Azzam                        aides to meet with leaders of Asbat al-                         recently been released by the Lebanese
and Isaac al-Sabsabi, who Lebanese                         Ansar. 37 The meeting was anything                              authorities following interrogations
military intelligence services arrested                    but cordial, but its purpose was to                             with captured terrorists, a number of
in two sophisticated operations in May                     discuss a plan that would bring an                              influential    Lebanese     commentators
and September 2009, the two terrorists                                                                                     and editorialists continue to treat the
confessed that Abu Hajer also had                          34 Khodr Taleb, “An Important Catch: The Army Ar-               issue of al-Qa`ida-related terrorism in
detailed plans to assassinate Lebanese                     rests Fatah al-Islam Member Hamza al-Kassem,” al-Sa-            Lebanon with great suspicion. In their
Internal Security Forces Director                          fir, August 2, 2009.                                            minds, al-Qa`ida’s global network has
Ashraf Rifi and to conduct high-profile                    35 On June 24, 2007, three Spanish and three Colombian          no independent presence in the country.
operations against UNIFIL with the                         UN soldiers were killed when a bomb destroyed their             They view the threat as a fabrication by
help of his allies in Ain al-Hilwah. 33                    armored troop carrier. A month later, another bomb ex-          the Syrian intelligence services intended
                                                           ploded near a UNIFIL position, causing no casualties. On        to destabilize Lebanon and restore
                                                           January 8, 2008, two members of the Irish contingent            Damascus’ political control that was
                                                           were wounded when their vehicle was hit by a roadside           lost after it was forced to withdraw its
                                                           bomb near Rmaileh village, 22 miles south of Beirut. See        troops from the country in May 2005.
                                                           Hassan Oleik, “Naim Abbas Killed Francois Hajj,” al-            While this is possible given the negative
27 Moussawi, “Sari: The Saudi al-Kafeel Executed the       Akhbar, August 29, 2009.                                        role Syria’s intelligence services have
Damascus Bombing and Helped Jawhar in the Making of        36 Zeina Karam, “Fatah al-Islam Assassinated Lebanese           played in Lebanon, the theory remains
Bombs for al-Tall and al-Bahsas.”                          Minister Gemayel,” Ya Libnan, July 8, 2007.                     unsupported by hard evidence. What is
28 Ibid.                                                   37 Asbat al-Ansar is a Palestinian Salafi-jihadi group that     encouraging is the fact that the official
29 Ibid.                                                   was involved in a number of terrorist operations against        establishment, including many formerly
30 Ibid.                                                   Lebanese official targets in the past, including the killings   anti-Syrian politicians who were once
31 Ibid.                                                   of four judges in a courtroom in Sidon in June 1999. Re-        skeptical of the al-Qa`ida threat, are now
32 This is the story recounted by captured terrorist Mo-   cently, it reached a permanent truce with the Lebanese          revisiting their views and appreciating
hamad Mahmoud Azzam, parts of which were covered in        authorities in return for its intelligence cooperation on       the gravity of the problem, allowing
al-Safir newspaper on September 14, 2009.                  al-Qa`ida elements in the Ain al-Hilwah camp. These de-
33 Moussawi, “Sari: The Saudi al-Kafeel Executed the       tails are based on the author’s personal interviews with        38 Fidaa Itani, “Jund al-Sham to the Forefront from the
Damascus Bombing and Helped Jawhar in the Making of        mid-level sources inside Lebanon’s military intelligence        Gate of Terror and Terrorism,” al-Akhbar, January 2,
Bombs for al-Tall and al-Bahsas.”                          services in summer 2009.                                        2010.

                                                                                                                                FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

the security apparatus to operate under                                                                             made because al-Muhajiroun was
fewer political constraints.                            The Changing Scene in                                       “another name for both Al Ghurabaa
                                                        Londonistan                                                 and The Saved Sect,” 3 two descendent
Underfunded and ill-equipped, the                                                                                   groups of al-Muhajiroun that had been
Lebanese military intelligence services,                By Raffaello pantucci                                       banned in July 2006. The reason for the
often in coordination with the internal                                                                             apparently back-to-front nature of the
security forces, have so far done a                     in the first month of 2010, the world                       proscription was that al-Muhajiroun
remarkable job in fighting the terrorism                was reminded of the terrorism threat                        had officially disbanded itself in
threat. Yet the threat is now arguably                  in the United Kingdom. Umar Farouk                          October 2004, likely out of concerns of
too big for a small country like Lebanon                Abdulmuttalab’s partial radicalization                      impending proscription at the time. 4 It
to handle on its own. The Lebanese                      in London, the decision to finally                          rapidly re-established itself in a series
government also has a legal responsibility              proscribe the extremist group al-                           of different groups, most prominent
to protect UNIFIL, but it cannot do this                Muhajiroun and the ratcheting up of                         of which were al-Ghurabaa (The
crucial job by itself. The newly-shaped                 the terrorism threat level ahead of the                     Strangers), The Saved Sect, and Ahlus
Lebanese counterterrorism apparatus                     Summit on Afghanistan all highlighted                       Sunnah wal Jamaah (The Followers of
needs financial and technical help from                 once again how the United Kingdom                           the Sunna). The first two were banned
its regional friends and from those                     remains the focus of the terrorism                          soon after they were linked to protests
countries that have a vested interest                   threat to the West. 1 The nature of this                    at the Danish Embassy in London in
in preserving the fragile calm along                    threat, however, has changed since the                      February 2006, which resulted in
the Lebanese-Israeli border. With a                     days before 9/11, when London was                           some individuals being prosecuted for
few terrorist leaders still at large and                often called “Londonistan” due to the                       inciting racial hatred. 5 The third name,
an unknown number of cells actively                     heavy presence of extremist groups                          Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, remains
plotting attacks, UNIFIL continues to                   in the city. 2 Today, radicalization and                    theoretically active, but has not yet been
be at risk of another terrorist attack,                 extremist activity in the United Kingdom                    banned. 6 Al-Muhajiroun, on the other
the lethality of which this time could be               no longer occurs at the level it once did.                  hand, simply went silent, although
greater than in the past. 39                            Nevertheless, the activity still taking                     individuals in the group described al-
                                                        place is harder to legislate against and                    Muhajiroun as the overarching umbrella
Bilal Y. Saab is a senior Middle East and               more difficult to combat.                                   under which the other groups operated.
counterterrorism consultant with Centra                                                                             More recently, the group marshaled its
Technology Inc. and Oxford Analytica.                   This    article   will   explain    how                     forces under the banner “Islam4UK,”
He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in                     “Londonistan” has changed during the                        which was among the groups banned
Government and Politics at the University               last decade. Overtly violent extremist                      under the latest proscription order.
of Maryland, College Park.                              preaching has become much more
                                                        discrete, while the internet has become                     The actual decision to ban al-Muhajiroun
                                                        a major feature in radicalizing young                       was surprisingly controversial. The
                                                        people. The article will also show                          group had announced its intention
                                                        how old and new threats have melded                         to march through Wootton Bassett, a
                                                        together to create a threat matrix                          village that has become synonymous
                                                        that presents a new set of legislative                      with British war dead due to the
                                                        challenges for British authorities.                         regular processions of coffins along the
                                                                                                                    high street, and the public perception
                                                        The Banning of Al-Muhajiroun                                is that the ban was a reaction to
                                                        One of the most visible parts of                            this   announcement.        The  British
                                                        Londonistan was laid to rest in January                     government, however, claimed that the
                                                        2010 when the British government                            decision was the product of a review
                                                        finally took the step of adding al-                         of al-Muhajiroun’s status by the Joint
                                                        Muhajiroun to the list of banned                            Terrorism Analysis Center (JTAC). 7
                                                        organizations under the UK Terrorism
                                                        Act of 2000. The decision was officially

                                                        1 Sean O’Neill and Giles Whittell, “Al Qaeda ‘Groomed       3 The official proscription order can be found at www.
                                                        Abdulmutallab in London,’” Times [London], December
                                                        30, 2009; Dominic Casciani, “Analysis: Does Banning         4 Omar Bakri Mohammed, “An Official Declaration Dis-
                                                        Terror Groups Work?” BBC, January 12, 2010; “UK Ter-        solving Al Muhajiroun,”, Octo-
                                                        rorist Threat Level Raised to ‘Severe,’” BBC, January 23,   ber 8, 2004.
                                                        2010.                                                       5 “Four Men Jailed Over Cartoon Demo,” BBC, July 18,
                                                        2 The term “Londonistan” was coined by the French se-       2007.
                                                        curity services who were angry at the volume of jihadist    6 “Theoretically” because the al-Muhajiroun descendent
                                                        groups and individuals who found safe sanctuary in the      groups tend to operate using many different fronts, mak-
39 Bilal Y. Saab and Magnus Ranstorp, “Terror Alert:    United Kingdom and in its apparently lax legislation to     ing it hard to ascertain which one is behind any particu-
Let Us Protect UNIFIL and Fast,” Daily Star, February   counter radical groups not threatening British soil. Most   lar activity.
1, 2010.                                                were in London, hence the term Londonistan.                 7 Casciani.

                                                                                                                                   FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

Regardless of the true reasons, the                       away, while the radical preachers who                         Instead, recruiting networks appear
impact was minimal. While extremists                      poisoned the minds of Britain’s youth                         to operate on the periphery of the
retired the al-Muhajiroun name and                        have been expelled from the country                           more anti-establishment groups that
closed down its most widely known                         (such as Omar Bakri Mohammed) or                              protest against the war on terrorism
website,,           they              are behind bars (such as Abu Hamza                            and ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan
quite openly said that the decision                       and Abu Qatada). The younger men                              and Iraq. Clearly, the overwhelming
was not going to affect them. “Unless                     who aspire to fill these individuals’                         majority of protestors are peaceful and
the government can prove that you                         shoes are also facing legal trouble and                       are merely expressing opinions. Yet
are ostensibly exactly the same                           lack the experience on the battlefield                        this peaceful activism can provide cover
organization, doing the same things at                    or religious credibility that made the                        for more extremist elements to seek
the same time, it’s very difficult to clamp               earlier generations so inspirational.                         recruits, and the defining line can be hard
down,” explained al-Muhajiroun’s co-                                                                                    to distinguish. Key individuals in a variety
founder. 8 In fact, new websites are                      This has dulled one of the primary                            of plots have appeared to be involved in
already operating that provide the same                   functions of Londonistan as a global                          organizations that ostensibly claim to
sort of services as,                     threat: the United Kingdom is no longer                       offer support for Muslim prisoners or to
including providing speeches, videos                      an environment in which extremist                             be channeling aid to South Asia. Others
and books by radical preachers such as                    ideologies can flourish and active                            have been involved in student politics,
Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri Mohammed                            recruiters can easily find individuals to                     with four cases of student presidents of
and Anwar al-`Awlaqi, alongside the                       rally to the cause. For example, Djamel                       university Islamic organizations being
work of new younger preachers who                         Beghal, who allegedly operated out of                         charged with terrorist plotting. This
claim to have trained at the feet of such                 the Finsbury Park Mosque and recruited                        would appear to be where Umar Farouk
men. 9                                                    Richard Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui and                          Abdulmutallab was sped along the path
                                                          Nizar Trablesi, 11 and Abu Munthir,                           that led to him attempting to blow up
This is the reality of the “new                           who allegedly played a critical role in                       a commercial airliner on December 25,
Londonistan,” where a group of jihadists                  the formation of the cell codenamed                           2009. As an activist in London’s student
continue to espouse extremist rhetoric                    “Crevice,” 12 used the networks fostered                      politics and Islamist scene, he was also
within the constraints of the British                     by radical preachers to seek recruits.                        in contact with extremists who may
legal system, even if they are not as able                Some individuals who make up this                             have provided him with connections in
to openly support terrorism as before.                    shadow network continue to live in                            Yemen.
While to outsiders this might simply                      the United Kingdom and appear on
seem an extension of previous British                     the periphery of counterterrorism                             Londonistan Goes Viral
policy of placating extremists so that                    operations, and a few are under                               The biggest threat from Londonistan,
they do not undertake violent actions                     controversial “control orders.”                               however, was the incubation of extremist
in the United Kingdom, the truth is that                                                                                ideologies that it provided. According to
British counterterrorism policy has                       Either way, the pools from which they                         al-Qa`ida theorist Abu Mus`ab al-Suri,
moved far beyond this. The problem is                     might attempt to fish for recruits have                       in the 1990s “being in London would
that the threat has now evolved in a new                  been dried up to some extent. Previously,                     place you at the centre of the events.” 14
direction.                                                sessions organized by radical clerics                         The     concentration    of   extremists,
                                                          would have provided fertile ground                            according to al-Suri, meant that he
The new Londonistan                                       from which they might find excitable                          “found that there was an opportunity
Unlike the 1990s, today London is not                     young men interested in graduating                            to resume my contribution [to jihad],
a hub of openly jihadist international                    from vacuous preaching into physical                          and my participation in writing, by
activity. The Finsbury Park Mosque                        violence. An openly radical fringe                            staying in London.” 15 This function
is no longer a training ground and                        remains—as was mentioned earlier, al-                         still exists in some form, with openly
supply shop where terrorists can                          Muhajiroun has merely morphed under                           radical and influential individuals still
come and equip themselves with fake                       new nomenclature—but the attention                            operating within the United Kingdom,
identification papers, currency and                       they attract from the security services                       but much of the dangerous rhetoric and
invitation letters to go to military                      and media makes it hard to imagine                            radicalization has migrated online.
training camps in Afghanistan. 10 The                     that serious terrorist elements would be
wide Algerian network that used to                        drawn to their meetings. 13                                   It is in the online world that individuals
operate with impunity from British                                                                                      such as Aabid Khan and Younis
shores has been for the most part chased                  11 Steve Bird, “Quiet Existence in Leicester Suburb           Tsouli operated; both young men were
                                                          Masked a Complex Terrorist Network,” Times, April 2,
8 Fiona Hamilton, “Islam4UK’s Radical Spokesman An-       2003.                                                         mer head of al-Muhajiroun in Ireland, Khalid Kelly, who
jem Choudary Pledges to Keep Preaching,” Times, Janu-     12 Emily Flynn Vencatt and Mark Hosenball, “Pyrrhic           claimed to be training in Pakistan’s Swat to kill foreign
ary 16, 2010.                                             Victory?” Newsweek, May 1, 2007. For more on Abu              soldiers. See “Irishman Wants to Kill for Islam,” Sunday
9 One of these websites, for example, can be found at     Munthir’s role, see Regina v. Mohammed Momin Khwaja,          Times, November 15, 2009. Furthermore, a number of                                      Ontario Superior Court, October 29, 2008.                     members have been arrested for various breaches of the
10 Sean O’Neill and Daniel McGrory, The Suicide Factory   13 This is not to discount them altogether, aside from the    peace and for charges linked to terrorism legislation.
(London: Harper Perennial, 2006) provides a compre-       fact that the government believes they are involved in ter-   14 Quoted in Brynjar Lia, Architect of Global Jihad (Lon-
hensive account of Abu Hamza and his activities at the    rorism and has hence proscribed them. In late 2009, the       don: Hurst & Co., 2007), p. 121.
Finsbury Park Mosque.                                     Sunday Times ran an interview from Pakistan with a for-       15 Ibid.

                                                                                                                                      FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

convicted of involvement in terrorism                         Finally, some cases,            such as the one              Political Islam in Central
and were key instigators in a global                          against the young               Mohammed Gul
terrorist network operating from the                          who stands accused              of disseminating             Asia: The Role of Hizb al-
internet in the United Kingdom. 16 Other                      extremist material by           e-mail, remain on            Tahrir
individuals such as Nicky Reilly 17 and                       the docket. 23
Isa Ibrahim 18 were instead apparently                                                                                     By Emmanuel Karagiannis
drawn in by material they found online                        Conclusion
and tried to build explosive devices                          Radicalization remains an issue in                           one of the fastest growing global,
on their own. Ibrahim was interdicted                         the United Kingdom, although the                             Sunni Islamic political organizations is
before he could execute his plot, but                         threat has evolved away from the old                         Hizb al-Tahrir (the Islamic Liberation
Reilly was only prevented by his own                          structures that used to make up the                          Party, HT). 1 HT often escapes in-
incompetence when his bomb failed to                          infamous Londonistan. Radicalization                         depth analysis because the group itself
detonate properly in the middle of a                          today is more difficult for policymakers                     does not use violence to seek political
restaurant in Exeter in May 2008.                             to legislate against. Dangerous extremist                    change. As a result, it is not on the
                                                              activities online are hard to distinguish                    U.S. government’s list of terrorist
It is also on the internet that security                      from the vast mass of meaningless                            organizations. Nevertheless, HT is
services are increasingly concentrating                       extremism on the internet, while parts                       pursuing an agenda at odds with the
their efforts, attempting to identify                         of the real-world portion have melded                        West, and eventually the group could
threats through the internet or finding                       into the mainstream of British political                     pose an active threat to the United
legal ways of charging people who                             discourse. This makes it difficult to craft                  States and its allies.
step beyond the boundary with online                          legislation that targets groups specifically
extremism. These include individuals                          that does not also catch harmless and                        Profiling HT is important as the group
such as Krenar Lusha, who was                                 legitimate forms of political discourse.                     is one of the most popular pan-Islamic
identified through a network of online                                                                                     organizations, counting tens of thousands
extremists and later convicted while                          Physical jihad continues to hold sway,                       of members. 2 While it rejects violence at
in possession of an assortment of                             with events in Afghanistan and East                          this time, it is open to waging jihad once
radical material as well as 71.8 liters of                    Africa drawing young men into their                          a proper Islamic state is established with
petrol and potassium nitrate, 19 or Bilal                     thrall, 24 but the networks and extremist                    the purpose of creating a global Islamic
Mohammed and Rizwan Ditta who both                            rhetoric that were previously responsible                    caliphate. To establish this initial Islamic
pled guilty to charges of distributing                        for the stream of individuals going to                       state, HT is pursuing an agenda to make
extremist material obtained online. 20                        training camps have been forced into a                       society more “Islamist” so that such
Other cases have proved more difficult,                       less prominent position. Unfortunately,                      a state can be established peacefully.
however, with a group of cases linked                         however, a hardcore of jihadist thinking                     Nevertheless, the group ascribes to a little
to the internet in Lancashire largely                         remains, making what happens in the                          discussed strategy called nusra, which
dropping off the radar for legal                              United Kingdom still relevant for the                        means it could support a coup d’etat by
reasons. 21 Moreover, part of the case                        global fight against terrorism.                              an armed force if that force is pursuing
against Mohammed Atif Siddique                                                                                             an Islamist agenda.
that stated he was involved in actual                         Raffaello Pantucci is a Consulting Research
terrorist planning was overturned and                         Associate at the International Institute for                 This article will provide background on
he was released from prison, although                         Strategic Studies (IISS) and an Associate                    HT, including its strategy to establish
other charges against him stood. 22                           Fellow at the International Center for the                   an Islamic caliphate. It will then profile
                                                              Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s                     HT’s role in Central Asia, the region in
16 For more on this network, please see Evan Kohlmann,        College.                                                     which it is most active.
“Anatomy of a Modern Homegrown Terror Cell: Aabid
Khan et al,” NEFA Foundation, September 2008; Raf-                                                                         Background on Hizb al-Tahrir
faello Pantucci, “Operation Praline: The Realization of                                                                    HT was founded in East Jerusalem in
Al-Suri’s Nizam la Tanzim?” Perspectives on Terrorism                                                                      1953 by Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani, an
2:12 (2008).                                                                                                               Islamic scholar of Palestinian origin. In
17 Adam Fresno, “Nicky Reilly, Muslim Convert, Jailed                                                                      the decades since its establishment, HT
for 18 Years for Exeter Bomb Attack,” Times, January 31,
2009.                                                                                                                      1 Hizb al-Tahrir is more commonly transliterated as
18 Raffaello Pantucci, “Britain Jails ‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorist   material online, as he was linked into the broader Khan/     Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Isa Ibrahim,” Terrorism Monitor 7:23 (2009).                  Tsouli network. See “Siddique Terrorism Charges in De-       2   HT’s total numbers in Central Asia are not known
19 “Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Terrorism Offenc-        tail,” BBC, February 9, 2010.                                because the group operates clandestinely. There are,
es,” Derbyshire Constabulary, December 15, 2009.              23 “Man Charged With Sending Terrorist Material by           however, some 6,000 HT members and sympathizers
20 “Muslim Man Who Sold DVDs Glorifying the 9/11              Email,” Daily Mail, February 24, 2009.                       serving time in Uzbek, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik pris-
Atrocities Jailed Under New Terror Laws,” Daily Mail,         24 The case of Mohammed Abushamma is instructive in          ons. The U.S. State Department claims, for example, that
March 20, 2008.                                               the case of Afghanistan. See “Student Jailed for Trying to   as many as 4,500 HT members are currently jailed in
21 “PM Death Plot Suspects in Court,” Derby Evening           Fight British in Afghanistan,” London Evening Standard,      Uzbekistan alone. See the Bureau of Democracy, Human
Telegraph, October 4, 2008; “Jury in Blackburn Terrorist      June 18, 2009. The Somali case is increasingly a concern.    Rights, and Labor, Uzbekistan – International Religious
Trial Discharged,” Lancashire Telegraph, July 27, 2009.       See Richard Kerbaj, “UK Students Recruited for Somali        Freedom Report (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of
22 The charges that held include spreading extremist          Jihad,” Sunday Times, January 24, 2010.                      State, 2007).

                                                                                                                                      FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

has become an international movement 3                     To achieve this strategy, HT does not                              help. This is the method that the
with tens of thousands of followers                        want to seize control of the state by                              Prophet Muhammad adopted to
worldwide. Although the group is                           force and coerce society into accepting                            establish the State of Islam and to
primarily active in Central Asia, it also has              its political agenda. Rather, HT wants                             implement the Islamic rules. 10
a large following in a number of Western                   to persuade society to accept its ideas
countries, including in the United States.                 willingly, which would then inevitably                         In practice, this means that HT could
Today, HT is led by Ata Abu Rashta, a                      lead to a regime change. Yet even in these                     support a coup organized by a military
Palestinian civil engineer who studied                     circumstances, it is likely that HT would                      that would have first embraced
in Cairo and previously served as the                      use some form of pressure to remove                            Islamism as its ideology. For example,
party’s spokesman in Jordan.                               recalcitrant regimes; party ideologues                         HT encouraged elements within the
                                                           have often implied that regimes could be                       Jordanian armed forces to overthrow
HT does not view itself as a religious                     overthrown by acts of civil disobedience,                      the Jordanian government in 1968 and
organization, but as a political party based               such as demonstrations and strikes. For                        1969. Moreover, there are indications
on Islamic values. HT’s political doctrine                 example, the media representative of HT                        that some members of HT were linked to
is founded on two principles. The first                    in Britain, Imran Waheed, once wrote:                          a failed coup attempt in Egypt in 1974. 11
is the need for Islamic law, or Shari`a,                                                                                  The objectives of seeking nusra for the
to regulate all aspects of human life—                          a day will come when the Muslims                          re-establishment of the caliphate are
politics, economics, science and ethics.                        will take revenge against all                             twofold: first, to enable HT to continue
The second principle is the need for an                         those who participated in their                           its political struggle without risking a
authentic Islamic state, which would                            oppression [i.e. the Karimov regime                       military confrontation with authorities;
pave the way for the re-establishment of                        in Uzbekistan]. Hizb ut-Tahrir does                       second, to propagate its ideology to the
the Islamic caliphate. According to HT,                         not use weapons or resort to violence,                    security forces so that they overthrow
a “just” society can only be achieved                           nor uses any physical means in                            existing regimes and establish an
within such a political entity.                                 its call…However, do not expect,                          Islamic state.
                                                                that these rulers and their regimes
HT’s goal is to create an Islamic state                         will collapse all by themselves. On                       It is important to note, however, that
that will first absorb all Muslim-                              the contrary, patient believers are                       HT never developed a paramilitary wing
populated territories into its borders to                       required to shake these regimes and                       and its members did not provide military
establish a caliphate, and then spread                          uproot them. 7                                            support for the coup attempts in Jordan
Islam worldwide through jihad. For                                                                                        and Egypt, although these coups were
instance, al-Nabhani wrote in Article                      Moreover, HT has also developed the                            aimed at establishing an Islamic state.
183 of his proposed constitution for the                   concept of seeking outside support                             Moreover, HT has not been involved in
future Islamic state that “conveying                       (nusra) to remove a regime from power.                         any other violent or velvet coups in the
the Islamic da’wah [to the world] is the                   HT compares this strategy to how the                           Muslim world since the mid-1970s.
axis around which the foreign policy                       Prophet Muhammad received support
revolves, and the basis upon which the                     from Arab tribes in his conquest of                            HT’s Role in Central Asia
relation between the [Islamic] state and                   Medina after he fled Mecca for fear of                         Although HT has influence globally—
other states is built.” 4 Moreover, “this                  persecution by the pagan leaders. 8 HT                         including in the United States and in the
policy is implemented by a defined                         has interpreted the conquest of Medina                         West—it is most active in Central Asia
method that never changes, which is                        as a coup d’etat orchestrated by the                           because it has faced little competition
jihad, regardless of who is in authority.                  Prophet Muhammad and his allies that                           from other Islamist groups in this region.
Jihad is the call to Islam which involves                  took their local opponents by surprise.                        There are a number of factors that led
fighting or the contribution of money,                     According to the group’s literature,                           to HT’s rise in Central Asia, not least
opinions, or literature towards the                                                                                       of which is the fact that Central Asia is
fighting.” 5 To achieve these goals,                            if the land was a land of Kufr and                        predominately Muslim. 12 Poor economic
HT envisages a three-stage program                              the rules of Islam were not put in                        conditions in post-Soviet Central Asia
of action, modeled after the three                              implementation, then removing the                         provided fertile soil for Islamist groups
stages that the Prophet Muhammad                                ruler who governs over the Muslims                        to achieve support in changing the
experienced on his path to establishing                         would be through using the method
the first Islamic state:                                        of Nusrah, i.e. seeking [military] 9                      caliphate must be armed. On more than one occasion, HT
                                                                                                                          has openly asked the armed forces of Muslim countries
Stage One: Recruitment of members.                         Re-establish the Khilafah and Resume the Islamic Way of Life   to intervene in certain states. Therefore, it must be em-
Stage Two: Islamization of society.                        (London: al-Khilafah Publications, 2000), p. 32.               phasized that HT is interested in those who are militarily
Stage Three: Takeover of the state and                     7 Imrad Waheed, “Who Killed Farhad Usmanov?” Ca-               (not politically) capable.
jihad against non-believers. 6                             liphate, July 2002.                                            10 The Methodology of Hizb ut-Tahrir for Change, p. 22.
                                                           8 Hizb ut-Tahrir, The Methodology of Hizb ut-Tahrir for        11 S. Taji-Farouk, A Fundamental Quest: Hizb ut-Tahrir
3 The terms group, party, organization and movement        Change (London: al-Khilafah Publications, 1999), p. 22.        and the Search for the Islamic Caliphate (London: Grey Seal,
are used interchangeably in this article.                  9 HT refers to the “people of support” (ahl un-Nusra)          1996), pp. 27, 168.
4 Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani, The Islamic State (London: al-   who were physically powerful enough not only to help           12 According to the CIA World Factbook, the Muslim
Khilafah Publications, 1998), p. 275.                      establish the first Islamic state, but also to defend it       populations in the four Central Asian republics are: Ta-
5 Ibid., pp. 143-144.                                      against enemies. They were the equivalent of an army. By       jikistan (90%), Uzbekistan (88%), Kazakhstan (47%),
6 Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain, The Method to      definition, those who now can help in re-establishing the      and Kyrgyzstan (75%).

                                                                                                                                   FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

current social order. Governments in                          have responded to the emergence of                           HT pursues a different strategy in
Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan                         HT with repressive measures against                          each Central Asian country where it is
exclude Uzbek minorities, which has                           its members and supporters. These                            active. In Uzbekistan, HT spreads its
allowed HT to recruit among this class                        punitive measures, however, are having                       message clandestinely. In Kyrgyzstan,
in these countries. Furthermore, many                         the opposite effect: HT is growing                           it takes advantage of the country’s
in the population are attracted to the                        in popularity, as can be measured                            relatively relaxed political atmosphere
prospect of an Islamic government,                            by its ability to recruit across broad                       to launch public relations campaigns. In
primarily due to the lack of legitimate                       swathes of society, including students,                      Kazakhstan, HT is still growing its cadres
channels for protest against the region’s                     businessmen, intellectuals and women.                        while avoiding a confrontation with the
authoritarian governments.                                    Only in Turkmenistan does HT have a                          authorities. In Tajikistan, HT chooses
                                                              minimal presence, which is probably                          to confront both the authorities and
Moreover, the collapse of communism                           due to severe state repression.                              the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan,
produced an ideological vacuum in                                                                                          its main political competitor. While
Central Asia, which HT has attempted                          HT differs considerably from other                           maintaining a coherent and concrete
to fill with religious rhetoric. The                          clandestine Islamist groups when                             agenda, HT has tactically focused on
group appeals to individuals who want                         it comes to recruitment. The group                           each country’s unique problems.
to believe in a coherent ideology that                        welcomes as members both men and
provides ready answers not only for                           women. HT is more likely to use its                          Prospects for the Future
spiritual questions, but also practical                       female members for demonstrations and                        HT does not constitute an immediate
issues. HT’s vision of a universal                            protests in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan,                       threat to the security of Central Asian
Islamic state also appeals to Central                         based on the belief that security services                   states. Nevertheless, HT may in the
Asians who feel nostalgia for the loss                        in these countries are less likely to                        medium- to long-term ally itself with
of Soviet society, which theoretically                        abuse them physically or arrest them.                        radical elements within the security
promoted values of “solidarity” and                           Also, HT has been active in recruiting                       services or armed forces to overthrow
“justice.” There are widespread feelings                      prisoners in Central Asia. Jailed HT                         one or more governments in the Central
of mistrust in the capability of Central                      members propagate their ideology to                          Asian region in line with the group’s
Asian governments to cater to the                             fellow convicts who, due to the harsh                        nusra strategy. HT’s rejection of political
citizens’ needs. The application of                           prison conditions, are susceptible to                        violence is conditional on the prevailing
Shari`a, propagated by HT, promises to                        Islamist messaging. This has become                          political circumstances: when nusra is
a fraction of the population a legitimate                     such a problem that in Uzbekistan, for                       not an option, the group aims at the
blueprint for a “just” society. Its radical                   example, authorities tend to isolate HT                      Islamization of society and the eventual
calls to overthrow regimes through                            members from common prisoners. 14                            peaceful overthrow of the regime.
peaceful measures are well received
by many people who, while rejecting                                                                                        Although HT cannot be classified as
violence as a method for political change,                                                                                 a terrorist organization, the political
have lost hope in the Central Asian                                                                                        implications of its growing influence
regimes’ ability to reform themselves.                        Party of Tajikistan (IRPT), HT has managed to establish      in the region are serious. The group
                                                              a presence in the country. The first HT cells in Tajiki-     constitutes an obstacle to the emergence
HT’s emergence in Central Asia was                            stan were established by Uzbek citizens who moved into       of democracy in Central Asia, since its
initially an “Uzbek phenomenon.”                              northern Tajikistan in the late 1990s. A rough estimate      growing popularity has allowed regional
The early development of a mosque-                            of HT membership in Tajikistan is about 3,000 mem-           leaders to solidify their positions and
centered faith in Uzbek-populated                             bers. In Kazakhstan, the first HT members appeared in        resist Western calls for political and
areas means that the local population                         1998. As in Tajikistan, the first generation of members      economic reforms. Moreover, if HT were
is accustomed to thinking that Islam                          in southern Kazakhstan were ethnic Uzbeks. In recent         to collaborate with an armed force to
can provide solutions to problems.                            years, however, a large number of members are ethnic         establish an Islamic state in a country,
Since the late 1990s, however, HT                             Kazakhs. HT likely has about 2,000 members in Kazakh-        its next goal would be to re-establish the
succeeded in spreading its message                            stan, mostly active in the south in areas such as Shymkent   Islamic caliphate, which would clearly
throughout Central Asia. As a result,                         and Kentau. In Kyrgyzstan, HT is strong in the southern      set this new state up for conflict with its
HT is the leading Islamist group in                           provinces of Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken. According to        regional neighbors.
Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and                        security sources, there are around 4,000 HT members in
Kyrgyzstan, with thousands of members                         Kyrgyzstan. These details are based on: “Hizb ut-Tahrir:     Dr. Emmanuel Karagiannis is an Assistant
in each country. 13 These governments                         Extremistskaya Organizatsiya,” Shyt [Dushanbe], Janu-        Professor of Russian and post-Soviet
                                                              ary 27, 2005; Personal interview, Igor Savin, director of    Politics at the University of Macedonia in
13 Based on interviews with security officials and group      NGO Dialogue, Shymkent, Kazakhstan, February 2004;           Thessaloniki, Greece and an Investigator at
members, as well as extrapolating from the number of ar-      Personal interview, Kazakh diplomat, Washington, D.C.,       the University of Maryland’s START Center.
rested members in the country, the author estimates that      September 2009; Personal interview, Kazakh security          His new book on Hizb al-Tahrir in Central
there are around 10,000-15,000 members and many               official, Astana, Kazakhstan, February 2009; Personal        Asia, Political Islam in Central Asia: The
more sympathizers in Uzbekistan. In Uzbekistan, the           interview, Sadykdzhan Mahmoudov, director of NGO             Challenge of Hizb ut-Tahrir, has just been
majority of HT members appear to be from the Ferghana         Rays of Solomon, Osh, Kyrgyzstan, May 2004.                  published by Routledge in New York.
Valley and Tashkent—as assessed by the number of ar-          14 Personal interview, member of Hizb al-Tahrir, name
rested members from these areas. In Tajikistan, despite       withheld at request, Namangan, Uzbekistan, August
the existence of a legal Islamic party, the Islamic Revival   2005.

                                                                                                                                 FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

How Terrorist Groups End                                   While some groups pursued their aims                       internal collapse, public rejection and
                                                           through violence for decades—such                          success. With the exception of the latter,
By Leonard Weinberg and Arie perliger                      as the Irish Republican Army (IRA)                         these causes are not mutually exclusive.
                                                           and the Revolutionary Armed Forces                         One cause may, in reality, reinforce the
the current fight against al-Qa`ida                        of Colombia (FARC)—these seem to                           other.
appears to have no end. Various tactics                    be exceptional cases. Other observers,
have been employed to defeat the                           such as David Rapoport, suggest the                        Through the work of Audrey Cronin,
terrorist group, including assassinating                   median duration of terrorist groups is                     along with the authors’ own categories,
cell   leaders     and   “re-educating”                    only about one year. 5                                     it is possible to calculate the frequencies
members. Yet the network persists                                                                                     of how terrorist groups end, as seen in
and bombs continue to be detonated in                      Yet are these figures irrelevant if the                    Table 1.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen,                     causes for which the terrorist group
among other countries. 1                                   struggles persist? The Armed Islamic
                                                           Group (GIA) in Algeria, for example,
To assess the future of Salafi-jihadi                      may have been beaten back by the
terrorism, it is important to take the                     authorities, but it was replaced by
history of modern terrorism into                           the Salafist Group for Preaching and
consideration. By examining the past,                      Combat (GSPC) which, in turn, gave
it is clear that almost all terrorist                      rise to al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb
groups and all terrorist campaigns                         (AQIM). 6 According to Rapoport, these
that appeared so menacing in previous                      causes have come in a series of distinct
decades have passed from the scene.                        “waves.” Since the advent of modern
At the end of the 19th and beginning                       terrorism during the last third of the
of the 20th century, for example, the                      19th century, he believes there have
public in much of the Western world                        been four such waves. Anarchism
was gripped by fear that anarchist                         was the dominant cause of the first.
bands posed a serious challenge to                         The pursuit of national independence
the prevailing social and political                        defined the second, while left-wing
order. 2 Kings, presidents, government                     revolutionary objectives of the 1960s
ministers, captains of industry and                        and 1970s characterized the third. The
members of the general public were                         world now faces a fourth wave whose
murdered with some frequency. The                          leitmotif is religious revivalism, Islamism
leading newspapers of the era stressed                     especially. 7 Each of the previous three                   Table 1. How Terrorist Groups End. 8
the extreme danger represented by                          waves lasted about a generation, or
anarchist conspirators. In the United                      30-40 years, before receding. If this is                   As depicted in Table 1, terrorist groups
States, the Sacco and Vanzetti case (two                   true, is there any evidence to suggest                     rarely achieve their goals. For instance,
anarchists who were convicted and                          the current wave of terrorism will                         none of the “urban guerrilla” groups
executed for murder and bank robbery                       last longer? This article addresses                        active in Europe and Latin America
in Massachusetts) probably received as                     that question, first by calculating
much worldwide attention as have the                       frequencies of how past terrorist                          8 The table is based on a dataset that was constructed
detainees in Guantanamo Bay. 3 Yet with                    groups have ended, and then examining                      with information gathered from three well-known and
the exception of a handful of eccentrics                   whether al-Qa`ida-related terrorism is                     reliable sources in the field of terrorism studies: 1) Alex
(such as the Unabomber), violent                           a unique phenomenon in the history of                      P. Schmid and A.J. Jongman, Political Terrorism: A New
anarchism now seems a historical                           terrorism.                                                 Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories and
curiosity. In fact, by Audrey Cronin’s                                                                                Literature (Edison, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2005); 2)
estimate, the lifespan of individual                       How Terrorist Groups End                                   The MIPT terrorism knowledge base; and 3) The U.S.
terrorist groups in general is on average                  How have terrorist groups ended in the                     Department of State’s Patterns of Global Terrorism Proj-
(median) between five and ten years. 4                     past? Observers have tended to stress                      ect. The dataset contains groups whose activities met
                                                           four general causes: external repression,                  four criteria, which are accepted by the academic com-
                                                                                                                      munity as describing terrorist activity: 1) The group’s ac-
1 Marc Sageman, Leaderless Jihad (Philadelphia, PA: Uni-                                                              tivities included violent acts, 2) which were perpetrated
versity of Pennsylvania Press, 2007); Bruce Hoffman,       (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2009). Cronin used data     in some type of political context, 3) included a symbolic
“Al Qaeda Has a Plan — Where’s Ours?” Washington           compiled by the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of   or psychological effect geared toward influencing a wider
Post, January 15, 2010.                                    Terrorism.                                                 audience than the immediate victims, and 4) were aimed
2 Pyotr Kropotkin, “The Spirit of Revolt,” in Walter La-   5 David Rapoport, “Terrorism,” in Mary Hawkeworth          against non-combatants or civilians. Based on these stan-
queur ed., The Terrorism Reader (New York: New Ameri-      and Maurice Kogan ed., Encyclopedia of Government and      dards, the authors compiled a list of 430 political groups
can Library, 1978).                                        Politics, Volume 2 (London: Routledge, 1992).              that warranted the “terrorist” label. Of these, a total of
3 Paul Avrich, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of An-    6 Fawaz Gerges, “The Decline of Revolutionary Islam in     232 are not active any more as terrorist groups. To detect
archism in America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University    Algeria and Egypt,” Survival 41:1 (1999): pp. 113-125.     exactly what led to the groups abandoning terrorism,
Press, 1996).                                              7 David Rapoport, “The Fourth Wave: September 11           the authors used governmental reports, court protocols,
4 Audrey K. Cronin, Ending Terrorism: Lessons for Poli-    in the History of Terrorism,” Current History 100:650      online and regular media resources, as well as academic
cymakers from the Decline and Demise of Terrorist Groups   (2001): pp. 419-429.                                       books and articles.

                                                                                                                                 FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

during the 1960s and 1970s succeeded                       its bloody attack on tourists in Luxor. 10                 as the Tupamaros in Uruguay. 11 In any
in igniting a revolution. None of the                      Nevertheless, at least in the short-run                    event, repression is a common way by
Palestinian groups, secular or religious                   public opinion does not make a major                       which terrorist groups come to an end.
(Fatah or Hamas), have achieved their                      contribution in the abandonment of
ultimate aim of destroying Israel. 9                       terrorism. Terrorist groups are often                      Is Al-Qa`ida-led Terrorism unique
                                                           able to insulate themselves from                           Historically?
Some groups have achieved their                            external realities, particularly if they                   There are three reasons why al-Qa`ida-
tactical goals. In Lebanon, Hizb Allah’s                   regard themselves as acting in the name                    led terrorism might differ from previous
precursors managed to persuade France                      of God.                                                    trends. First, unlike previous waves,
and the United States to withdraw their                                                                               the current one is to a large extent
forces from Beirut following a series                      The most common single explanations                        driven by religion. Religious beliefs
of suicide bombings in 1983. About                         for the end of terrorist group activity                    often have the power to elicit powerful
the same might be said in connection                       are repression by the authorities                          emotions usually unavailable to such
with Israel’s decision to withdraw                         (military or police) and the arrest or                     secular causes as Marxism-Leninism
from Lebanon in 2000. Although there                       killing of a group’s leaders and top                       and Maoism. Second, al-Qa`ida and its
are a handful of exceptions, the use of                    echelon. “Targeted killings,” by the                       various components are part of a broad
terrorism is not a successful means to                     Israeli government for example, or the                     social and political Islamist movement,
achieve long-term goals.                                   arrest of such key terrorist luminaries                    not an isolated band of fanatics detached
                                                           as Abimael Guzman in Peru and                              physically and emotionally from the
Since failure is the most common result                    Abdullah Ocalan in Turkey, have been                       rest of society. Third, today’s religious
for terrorist groups, what are the                         criticized on the grounds that they                        terrorists have access to the internet. No
alternatives their leaders confront once                   only infuriate a group’s members and                       previous generation of terrorist groups
they realize this probability? One option                  cause them to escalate violence. Yet,                      had this tool available to publicize their
is to abandon the gun for the ballot                       there should be a distinction between                      perspectives to an attentive public,
box. In some cases—such as the IRA                         motivation and capacity. The desire to                     recruit followers and communicate with
and the Muslim Brotherhood—leaders                         raise the level of terrorism may increase                  adherents on a worldwide basis.
make a “strategic decision” to enter                       in these instances, but the ability to do
negotiations with their adversaries and                    so declines. Terrorist groups are rarely                   These seem like exceptionally powerful
enter or re-enter the political arena.                     democratic organizations. New leaders                      factors. Yet there is another side to
Rarer still are groups that manage to                      may not possess the skills or allure of                    consider. Periods of intense religious
escalate their violence from terrorism to                  their predecessors—as followers of                         excitement have come and gone over
full-scale internal warfare. In Vietnam,                   Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi in Iraq and                          the centuries. During the 1880s, for
the Viet Cong managed to transform                         Chechen followers of Shamil Basayev                        example, a mahdi appeared in Sudan
their insurgency along these lines.                        discovered. Although arresting a key                       whose goals and those of his followers
                                                           figure is preferred, it is not always                      were to eliminate all Western influence
A number of variables measure the                          a possible outcome, especially when                        from Muslim society. 12 Among East
impact of internal group dynamics                          the individual prefers to die rather                       European Jews during the 18th
and terrorism’s reception by the                           than surrender, or where the terrain                       century, Shabbetai Zevi was believed
public. If taken together, the internal                    is inaccessible to conventional law                        by his thousands of followers to be the
fragmentation of terrorist groups and                      enforcement operations.                                    messiah to lead the children of Israel
their inability to pass their dreams to a                                                                             back to the “Promised Land.” 13 Over the
new generation(s) of militants account for                 Repression certainly has its critics as                    course of its history, the United States
a relatively small number of outcomes.                     well. In democracies, critics frequently                   has been the locale for multiple “Great
The same observation applies in the case                   object to repressive tactics on the                        Awakenings.” 14 In all three instances,
of the groups’ external environment.                       grounds that they violate important
The loss of state support, as Libya used                   constitutional safeguards both at home                     11 Arturo Porzcekanski, Uruguay’s Tupamaros (New
to provide, has rarely caused groups to                    and abroad. Other critics stress the                       York: Praeger Publishers, 1973). The Tupamaros were
end their careers. When a state ends                       self-defeating nature of repression.                       an urban guerrilla group active in the late 1960s and ear-
support for a terrorist group, other                       Overly indiscriminate acts of repression                   ly 1970s that sought to provoke the Uruguayan military
sources of funding are pursued, such as                    by the police or military, especially                      into staging a crackdown and thereby disclose the repres-
private philanthropy and bank robbery.                     foreign forces, act as recruiting tools                    sive nature of the authorities in Montevideo. The masses
On a few occasions, public disapproval                     for terrorists. This appears to be true                    would then become committed to the cause of revolution.
plays a significant role in ending the                     in some cases, such as for Palestinian                     The Tupamaros succeeded in provoking the military to
use of terrorist violence—such as with                     militant groups, but not others, such                      stage a coup d’etat. The result of the ensuing repression
the Egyptian Islamic Group following                                                                                  was the end of the Tupamaros. The country’s masses re-
                                                           10 On November 17, 1997, members of the Islamic Group      mained largely indifferent to these occurrences.
                                                           killed 62 people, mostly foreign tourists, visiting the    12 Peter M. Holt, The Mahdist State in Sudan (Oxford:
9 They have, however, achieved some level of political     ancient site of Luxor in Egypt. The group had hoped to     Clarendon Press, 1958).
autonomy to the Palestinian population living in the       weaken Egypt’s economy by scaring away foreign tour-       13 Avraham Elqayam, “The Horizon of Reason: The Di-
West Bank and Gaza Strip; whether these achievements       ists, but they succeeded instead in horrifying the Egyp-   vine Madness of Sabbatai Sevi,” Kabbalah 9 (2003): pp.
are more a result of international diplomacy and foreign   tian public. See Gilles Keppel, Jihad (Cambridge, MA:      7-61.
public opinion than terrorism is a matter of debate.       Belknap-Harvard, 2002), pp. 276-277.                       14 See, for example, Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectual-

                                                                                                                              FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

these periods of religious excitement                      have had some effect, rhetoric aside, in
eventually dissipated.                                     demoralizing key figures. Most of al-
                                                                                                                      Recent Highlights in
                                                           Qa`ida’s “nodes” in Southeast Asia, for                    Terrorist Activity
The fact that al-Qa`ida is embedded                        example, have been eliminated.
in a broad movement does not make it                                                                                  January 1, 2010 (DENMARK): A Somali
immune to decline and defeat either.                       None of al-Qa`ida’s ostensible goals                       man broke into the home of Kurt
Mass protest movements typically                           have been achieved. Governments in                         Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist whose
have a beginning, middle and end.                          Cairo, Riyadh and Amman continue to                        caricature of the Prophet Muhammad was
According to many of their observers,                      function. Jews and “Crusaders” are still                   published by Jyllands-Posten in 2005. The
protest movements end when their                           present in the Middle East and elsewhere                   Somali man, who is a Danish resident, was
“opportunity     structure”   narrows—                     in the House of Islam. The prospects                       carrying an axe and a knife, and Danish
that is, when the authorities become                       of al-Qa`ida creating a new caliphate                      authorities claim that he was an assassin
more effective in dealing with them                        remain in the realm of the fantastic. In                   with links to the Somali insurgent and
and when the movements themselves                          short, while the end may not be near, it                   terrorist group al-Shabab. He was shot
become     institutionalized   as   their                  might not be far off either.                               and wounded by police before he could
leaders transform them into largely                                                                                   reach Westergaard, who was home at the
conventional political parties or similar                  As a result, while no “silver bullet” will                 time. – The Observer, January 3; AFP, January
organizations. 15 The history of the                       bring an end to al-Qa`ida, a combination                   2; New York Times, January 3
Palestinian group Fatah could serve as                     of external pressure exerted by the
an example, or the role of the Muslim                      relevant authorities and internal decay                    January 1, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A suicide
Brotherhood in Jordan and Egypt                            brought on by organizational woes                          bomber detonated an explosives-laden
where they are now represented in their                    should reduce the threat to a manageable                   vehicle amid a crowd of spectators
countries’ parliaments.                                    level. 16 What particular mix of “carrots”                 watching a volleyball game in Lakki
                                                           and “sticks” is most effective is likely                   Marwat District of the North-West
Another powerful factor possibly                           to vary with the different national                        Frontier Province. The bombing killed
affecting longevity today is the impact                    contexts in which the various al-Qa`ida                    101 people. – AFP, January 3
of the internet. On the other hand, both                   components operate. As various U.S.
Europe and North America abound with                       political leaders have pointed out, the                    January 1, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A roadside
far right, racist and anti-Semitic groups                  world is simply not going to move in the                   bomb killed five people, including an anti-
that make extensive use of the internet                    direction al-Qa`ida’s luminaries wish                      Taliban tribal elder, in Bajaur Agency of
in the hope of setting off a racial holy                   to take it.                                                the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
war and, in their minds, save the Aryan                                                                               The bomb was detonated remotely. – AFP,
race from extinction. Yet despite a                        Dr. Leonard Weinberg is Foundation Professor of            January 1
myriad of websites and chat rooms, no                      Political Science at the University of Nevada and
right-wing holy war appears imminent.                      a senior fellow at the National Security Studies           January 3, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A
In the absence of a critical mass of                       Center at the University of Haifa in Israel. He has        suspected U.S. unmanned aerial drone
followers, the effect of the internet is                   been a Fulbright senior research fellow for Italy,         killed five alleged militants near Mir
distinctly limited and is a tool rather                    a visiting scholar at UCLA, a guest professor at           Ali in North Waziristan Agency of the
than a cause.                                              the University of Florence, and the recipient of           Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
                                                           an H.F. Guggenheim Foundation grant for the                – al-Jazira, January 4
The Future of Al-Qa`ida?                                   study of political violence. He has also served as
When assessing the future of al-Qa`ida,                    a consultant to the United Nations Office for the          January 6, 2010 (PAKISTAN): U.S.
no single factor seems likely to bring                     Prevention of Terrorism.                                   unmanned aerial drones targeted a Taliban
about its demise. It will likely take a                                                                               training center in North Waziristan
combination of the items mentioned                         Dr. Arie Perliger received his Ph.D. in political          Agency of the Federally Administered
above. There are, however, some                            science at the University of Haifa in Israel,              Tribal Areas, killing at least 13 militants.
favorable signs. According to public                       where he also taught until 2008. From 2002 to              – AFP, January 6; Washington Post, January 7
opinion polls conducted by Pew and                         2008, he served as a fellow at the University of
Gallup, al-Qa`ida enjoys declining levels                  Haifa’s National Security Studies Center, during           January 6, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A suicide
of support among sampled respondents                       which he managed the Terrorism Research                    bomber killed four Pakistani soldiers in
in the Middle East and South Asia, in                      Project team. In 2007, Dr. Perliger became a               Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-
Pakistan especially. Leading clerics                       Golda Meir Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hebrew               administered Kashmir. – Dawn, January 6
have begun to preach that al-Qa`ida’s                      University of Jerusalem and currently serves as a
indiscriminate attacks against civilians,                  visiting assistant professor in the Political Science      January 6, 2010 (RUSSIA): A suicide
Muslims in particular, conflict with the                   Department at the State University of New York,            bomber in a vehicle killed six police
teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.                         Stony Brook.                                               officers in Makhachkala, Dagestan. – New
Leadership decapitations appear to                                                                                    York Times, January 6

ism in American Life (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1963).    16 For a useful review of how past terrorist groups end-   January 7, 2010 (AFGHANISTAN): A
15 On the concept and theories of “Political Opportunity   ed, see Robert Art, “Conclusion,” in Louise Richardson     suicide bomber killed 10 people in Gardez,
Structure,” see Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement (New      ed., Democracy and Counterterrorism (Washington, D.C.:     the capital of Paktia Province. The target
York: Cambridge University Press, 1998).                   USIP, 2007).                                               of the attack, pro-government militia

                                                                                                          FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

commander Nasir Paray, was killed in the         faces other charges, such as conspiring to       detonating truck bombs outside the
blast. – New York Times, January 7               attack a Danish newspaper for publishing         Toronto Stock Exchange, the Toronto
                                                 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.             offices of Canada’s spy agency, and an
January 8, 2010 (UNITED STATES): Two             – National Post, January 14                      Ontario military base. The plot was
alleged associates of Najibullah Zazi, an                                                         disrupted by Canadian authorities. – ABC
Afghan immigrant charged with plotting           January 14, 2010 (AFGHANISTAN): A                News, January 18
a series of bombings in New York,                suicide bomber attacked a market in the
were arrested. The two men have been             Dehrawood district of Uruzgan Province,          January 18, 2010 (AFGHANISTAN):
identified as Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis           killing 20 civilians. – New York Times,          Taliban fighters launched a coordinated
Medunjanin. – AFP, January 8                     January 14                                       attack in Kabul, setting off explosives and
                                                                                                  taking over buildings. Approximately 12
January 8, 2010 (PAKISTAN): An                   January 14, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A U.S.              people were killed in the fighting, seven of
accidental       explosion      killed   eight   unmanned aerial drone targeted Tehrik-           whom were militants. – Wall Street Journal,
suspected militants at a safe house in           i-Taliban Pakistan leader Hakimullah             January 18; Los Angeles Times, January 19
Karachi. Authorities suspect that the            Mehsud in South Waziristan Agency of
explosives—which          included     suicide   the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.         January 19, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A
jackets—were being stored in the building        Approximately 10 people were killed in           suspected U.S. unmanned aerial drone
for future terrorist attacks. The safe house     the attack. It is believed that Hakimullah       killed five people in the Deegan area of
was located in Baldia district, an area of       Mehsud eventually died from injuries             North Waziristan Agency in Pakistan’s
Karachi that is primarily home to Pashtun        sustained in the strike. – CNN, January 15;      Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
migrants from Pakistan’s northwest.              CNN, February 9; AP, February 10                 – AP, January 19
– Wall Street Journal, January 8
                                                 January 14, 2010 (JORDAN): A roadside            January 21, 2010 (IRAQ): A suicide
January 9, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A U.S.               bomb exploded next to a convoy of vehicles       bomber blew up a truck near an Iraqi
unmanned aerial drone killed at least four       carrying Israeli diplomats in Jordan, yet        military base in Baaj, Ninawa Province.
militants in Ismail Khel village, located in     there were no injuries. – Wall Street Journal,   One Iraqi soldier was wounded. – Reuters,
North Waziristan Agency of the Federally         January 15                                       January 22
Administered Tribal Areas. It is believed
that the strike killed Jamal Saeed Abdul         January 15, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A U.S.              January 21, 2010 (PAKISTAN): Pakistani
Rahim, wanted for his alleged role in            unmanned aerial drone killed five people         intelligence officials said that a U.S.
the September 5, 1986 hijacking of Pan           in Zarini village in North Waziristan            unmanned aerial drone strike earlier in
American World Airways Flight 73.                Agency of the Federally Administered             January killed Abdul Basit Usman, an
– AFP, January 9; AP, January 15                 Tribal Areas. – CNN, January 15                  alleged Abu Sayyaf Group demolition
                                                                                                  expert. Usman was captured by Philippine
January 10, 2010 (INDIA): Two alleged            January 15, 2010 (YEMEN): Yemeni forces          authorities in 2002, but managed to
members of Lashkar-i-Tayyiba were                killed six alleged al-Qa`ida militants in an     escape months later. He also was linked
killed by Indian Army troops in Reasi            airstrike near the Saudi Arabian border.         to Jemaah Islamiya. – Philippine Inquirer,
district of Indian-administered Kashmir.         The airstrike targeted two vehicles on the       January 23; New York Times, January 21
– Indian Express, January 11                     border between the Yemeni provinces of
                                                 Saada and al-Jawf. Authorities believe           January 22, 2010 (IRAQ): U.S. military
January 13, 2010 (IRAQ): A suicide               that Qasim al-Raymi, the military chief of       forces killed Abu Khalaf, identified as a
bomber blew up a truck outside a police          al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula, was          senior al-Qa`ida operative and a facilitator
station in Anbar Province, killing seven         among the dead. – Washington Post, January       for the transit of foreign fighters from
people. – Reuters, January 13                    16; Voice of America, January 15                 Syria into Iraq. He was killed in Mosul,
                                                                                                  Ninawa Province. – UPI, January 28
January 13, 2010 (YEMEN): Yemeni                 January 16, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A suicide
security forces killed a suspected al-           bomber attacked a military vehicle in            January 22, 2010 (TURKEY): In a major
Qa`ida leader and arrested four al-Qa`ida        Pakistan-administered Kashmir, wounding          operation involving 16 provinces, Turkish
fighters in eastern Shabwa Province. The         two soldiers. – Reuters, January 16              police arrested 120 people with suspected
leader of the al-Qa`ida cell was identified                                                       ties to al-Qa`ida. – Guardian, January 22
as Abdullah Mehdar. – Los Angeles Times,         January 17, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A U.S.
January 14; Voice of America, January 13         unmanned aerial drone killed 15 people           January 23, 2010 (AFGHANISTAN):
                                                 in the Shaktu area of South Waziristan           Taliban militants attempted to kill the
January 14, 2010 (UNITED STATES):                Agency in the Federally Administered             governor of Wardak Province by setting
Tahawwur Hussain Rana was indicted               Tribal Areas. The strikes targeted a             off a hidden bomb as he traveled to a
by a U.S. grand jury for his alleged role        compound owned by a member of the                school building inspection. The governor
in the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai,         Mehsud tribe. – New York Times, January 17       escaped injury, but four of his Afghan
India. Rana was charged with providing                                                            military guards were killed. – New York
material support to both the Mumbai              January 18, 2010 (CANADA): Zakaria               Times, January 23
attacks   and    to   Lashkar-i-Tayyiba,         Amara, the ringleader of the so-called
the Pakistani terrorist group believed           “Toronto 18” terrorist cell, was sentenced       January 23, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A suicide
responsible for the operation. Rana also         to life in prison. The 2006 plot involved        bomber attacked a police station in Gomal,

                                                                                                              FEBRuARy 2010 . VoL 3 . IssUE 2

                                                    located south of Tank in the North-West           January       27,    2010 (MALAYSIA):
CTC Sentinel Staff                                  Frontier Province. At least five people           Authorities in Malaysia announced the
                                                    were killed by the blast. – RIA Novosti,          detention of 10 people with suspected
 Editor-in-Chief                                    January 23                                        ties to international terrorist groups,
 Erich Marquardt                                                                                      including Jemaah Islamiya. Nine of the
 senior Editor, CTC                                 January 23, 2010 (PAKISTAN): Taliban              10 detained individuals are foreigners.
                                                    militants killed seven Pakistani tribesmen        – Reuters, January 27
 Editorial Board                                    accused of spying for the United States.
 CoL Michael j. Meese, ph.D.                        The killings occurred in North Waziristan         January 29, 2010 (AFGHANISTAN):
 Department Head                                    Agency of the Federally Administered              Taliban fighters, disguised in Afghan
 Department of social sciences (West point)         Tribal Areas. – Reuters, January 24               Army and police uniforms, launched
                                                                                                      an assault on United Nations and
 CoL Cindy R. jebb, ph.D.                           January 24, 2010 (GLOBAL): Usama                  government buildings in Lashkar Gah,
 Deputy Department Head                             bin Ladin purportedly released a                  the capital of Helmand Province. At
 Department of social sciences (West point)         new audiotape claiming credit for the             least five militants were killed, along
                                                    December 25, 2009 attempted bombing               with one civilian. The attack was similar
 LTC Reid sawyer                                    of a commercial airliner in the United            to the January 18 coordinated Taliban
 Director, CTC                                      States. The statement read, “The message          assault in Kabul. – al-Jazira, January 30;
                                                    delivered to you through the plane                New York Times, January 29
 Christopher Heffelfinger                           of the heroic warrior Umar Farouk
 FBI Fellow, CTC                                    Abdulmutallab was a confirmation of the           January 29, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A U.S.
                                                    previous messages sent by the heroes of           unmanned aerial drone killed five
                                                    the September 11. America will never              suspected militants in Muhammad Khel,
                                                    dream of security unless we will have it          located in North Waziristan Agency
                                                    in reality in Palestine. God willing, our         of the Federally Administered Tribal
 COnTACT                                            raids on you will continue as long as your        Areas. – AFP, January 29
 Combating Terrorism Center                         support for the Israelis continues.” – BBC,
 U.s. Military Academy                              January 24; Australian, January 25                January 30, 2010 (IRAQ): A suicide
 607 Cullum Road, Lincoln Hall                                                                        bomber detonated his explosives at
 West point, nY 10996                               January 25, 2010 (IRAQ): Suicide                  a restaurant in Samara, Salah al-Din
 phone: (845) 667-6383                              bombers attacked three landmark hotels            Province, killing at least two people.
 Email:                           in Baghdad near-simultaneously, killing           The restaurant was reportedly popular
 Web:                    at least 36 people. The targeted hotels           among Iraqi police. – Voice of America,
                                                    include the Sheraton, the Hamra, and the          January 30
 * For press Inquiries: (845) 667-6383              Babylon. The Islamic State of Iraq later
                                                    claimed credit for the bombings. – Los            January 30, 2010 (PAKISTAN): A
                                                    Angeles Times, January 25; Voice of America,      suicide bomber killed 16 people at a
                                                    January 27                                        police checkpoint in Bajaur Agency
                                                                                                      in the Federally Administered Tribal
                                                    January 26, 2010 (AFGHANISTAN): A                 Areas. – AP, January 30
 SuPPORT                                            bomb exploded outside the main gate at
 The Combating Terrorism Center would               Camp Phoenix, a U.S. military base on             January 30, 2010 (YEMEN): Yemeni
 like to express its gratitude to its financial     the outskirts of Kabul. There were no             security forces detained an alleged al-
 supporters, for without their support and          confirmed reports of fatalities, although         Qa`ida militant wearing an explosives
 shared vision of the Center products like          Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid               belt. Authorities charge that the man
 the CTC sentinel could not be produced. If         claimed that the bomb killed 25 soldiers.         was planning a suicide bombing on
 you are interested in learning more about          – CNN, January 26; New York Times, January 26     “economic facilities” in Hadramawt.
 how to support the Combating Terrorism                                                               – Reuters, January 30
 Center, please visit http://www.ctc.usma.          January 26, 2010 (IRAQ): A suicide
 edu/support/ or call Wayne Richardson at           bomber in a vehicle exploded outside              January     31,   2010      (PAKISTAN):
 West point’s Association of Graduates at           the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s forensics           Pakistani forces killed 15 Taliban
 845-446-1553.                                      department in Baghdad, killing at least 18        militants in Bajaur Agency of the
                                                    people. – Christian Science Monitor, January 26   Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
                                                                                                      The fighting erupted after Taliban
                                                    January 27, 2010 (PAKISTAN): The                  fighters attacked a military checkpoint
                                                    body of anti-Taliban militia leader Malik         and convoy. – Reuters, February 1
                                                    Manaris Khan was found in Bajaur
                                                    Agency of the Federally Administered
The views expressed in this report are those of     Tribal Areas. Khan, who was kidnapped
the authors and not of the U.s. Military Academy,   on January 25, had been shot to death.
the Department of the Army, or any other agency     – AFP, January 27
of the U.s. Government.


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