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NCJ Number: 222108 Find in a Library
Title: Jihadist Strategic Debates Before 9/11
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:31  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:201-226
Author(s): Steven Brooke
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines terrorism, strategy, and the history of Islamic militancy.
Abstract: This article analyzes four significant debates over jihadist strategy prior to September 11: the differing strategies of Saleh Siriyya’s Military Technical Academy Group and Shukri Mustapha’s Jamaat al Muslimeen during 1970s, Abdelsalam Faraj’s 1979 manifesto, “The Neglected Duty,” and its case for jihad against the “near enemy” (Egypt’s rulers) rather than the “far enemy” (Israel), the contest during the 1980s between Al Jihad and Gamaa Islamiyya, and finally bin Laden’s 1998 “World Islamic Front Against the Jews and Crusaders” and the controversial decision to reverse Faraj’s strategy. These four debates show that there were serious and sustained conflicts over strategy inside the jihadist movement in the decades before September 11. Although the questions were rudimentary when compared with the post-September 11 successors, there was a concerted attempt to formulate strategic plans by building on theology, experience, logistical limitations, and the tactical capabilities of their groups. Highlighting and studying these debates also illustrates the diversity of the movement and how, rather than a single, determined cadre insisting on jihad against the United States, there have been significant debates over the methods and direction of the jihadist movement. These debates have in many ways been the signature of the jihadist movement evolved over time. Most recently bin Laden and Zawahiri’s calculation to attack the West could not overcome the strategic and ideological differences that stalked the jihadist movement since its inception. Instead of unifying the movement, bin Laden and Zawahiri’s decision created new divisions and amplified existing ones. Understanding these early debates and how they contribute to jihadist strategic studies is of extreme importance in formulating policy. Examining these fissures can provide clues to how best to prioritize the jihadist threat and mobilize limited resources to meet it. Notes
Main Term(s): International terrorism; Religion; Revolutionary or terrorist groups
Index Term(s): Arab Republic of Egypt; Prison Gangs/Security Threat Groups; Supporters of terrorism; Terrorism causes
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