Books and Documents
Islam,Terrorism and Jihad

The Islamic Caliphate is no longer virtual reality; it’s a tangible experience. Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL) has the basic essentials that make it a serious threat. It has territory, it has the military capability to hold on to its territory, and it has a system of governance, however demented it may be. Of course, its barely contested march has now been stalled by air strikes, the recapture of the Baiji refinery has been hailed by Iraqis as a changing of the tide, and the Peshmerga are gradually coming into their own at Kobani….


A Million Mutinies among the Believers
Aijaz Zaka Syed

In the words of Naipaul, it is a million mutinies among the believers. And with so many wars to fight within and settle scores with your own brethren, who needs the services of external foes? No wonder, Netanyahu cannot stop grinning from ear to ear proudly unveiling one settlement after another and setting his sights on Al-Aqsa, the prized catch.  To an external observer, especially a non-Arab Muslim, all this is truly bewildering….


The Myth of 'De-Radicalization' Of Islamic Radicals
Tarek Fatah

De-radicalization, I told the senators, was just an empty meaningless word. The real challenge was to prevent radicalization and this required confronting the rhetoric of political Islam rather than appeasing those who fanned religiosity and made Muslims believe their first loyalty was to Islam, not their community of fellow Canadians and Canada. “To ask ‘former radicals’ to de-radicalize radical Islamists is like asking Marxists to convert Communists into liberal democrats,”......

Do Nigeria's Female Suicide Attackers Point to Desperation or High Ambition for Boko Haram?
Elizabeth Pearson

In contrast, attacks by women distance Boko Haram from Al Qaeda ideology. Few Al Qaeda clerics advocate the use of women in violent jihad, either on front-lines or as suicide bombers. A campaign of female suicide bombers suggests Boko Haram is ready, when necessary, to subvert Al Qaeda ideology for tactical advantage. Security officials have been less likely to regard women as potential activists, and women are less likely to be searched. Boko Haram has already exploited this to use women to smuggle weapons, and suicide attacks….


Pakistan's Jihadis Rally around ISIS Banner
Declan Walsh

From urban slums to Taliban strongholds, the militant group's logo and name have appeared in graffiti, posters and pamphlets. Last month, a cluster of militant commanders declared their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State. Such is the influence of the Islamic State's steamroller success in Iraq and Syria that, even thousands of miles away, security officials and militant networks are having to reckon with the group……

World Media on Iraq, Syria and ISIS, 24 November, 2014

To claim today that ISIL and al-Qaeda have resolved their problems is to exaggerate. Since the beginning, there have been two standard dynamics required for unification that work. The first is to do with other groups, like Khorasan or Jabhat al-Nusra, that aim to reconcile al-Qaeda and ISIL. In fact, it was al-Nusra that first tried for reconciliation when the rift between al-Qaeda and ISIL opened. The second dynamic is the various fighters in both groups….

The Articles:

Early On, ISIS Targeted Sunni Tribal Leaders

By David Ignatius

Can Tech Companies Stop ISIL?

By Alastair Sloan

Al-Qaeda And ISIL: Is An Agreement Possible?

By Gökhan Bacik

ISIS: No Threat to Pakistan

By Mohammad Jamil

Boko Haram Is Acting Increasingly Like The Islamic State. Why Don’t We Treat It That Way?

By Jacob Zenn

Theological Explanations Are a Diversion When Looking At the Rise Of Islamic State

By Myriam Francois-Cerra


The Islamic State's Terrifying Strategy
David Ignatius

U.S. strategists want to create a “national guard” version of the tribal militia known as the Awakening, which in 2007 and 2008 crushed al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of the Islamic State. But overlooked evidence shows that the jihadists have worked systematically to destroy the Awakening and assassinate tribal leaders who might challenge their rule.....

The Boko Haram ‘War’
The Editor, Nigerian Guardian

A fact remains that the bulk of the people in the northeast do not support Boko Haram. But they need to be liberated from the group’s clutches. Politicians should realise that unless and until the Boko Haram is effectively checked, there may be no country to govern by 2015. ….


“These places should be for prayer and not for giving extremist speeches, talks that incite people to violence and terrorism,” Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa told Reuters. But ultra-conservative Islamists complain the government crackdown impinges on their freedoms.“What we are living now is a repression of mosques,” said Abd Arrahem Kamoun, a conservative preacher who was dismissed in the government crackdown. “Today it is harder to control the younger Salafists after all the repression.”.....


Today the Saudis find themselves in an extremely uncomfortable position. Their air force has joined the US-led coalition in conducting numerous air strikes against IS positions in Syria, yet this is deeply unpopular with many Saudis. A prince who has flown sorties against IS in an F15 jet has reportedly received death threats More than 2,000 Saudi nationals are estimated to have joined the ranks of IS, bringing with them an extreme brand of "Takfiri" ideology that views large portions of the population with suspicion and intolerance…..


The incident of Al-Ahsa massacre did not happen accidentally, but it is a rude interpretation of a dangerous approach that is increasingly threatening the heart of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must admit that the problem, which the Kingdom has long been exporting, is now present inside its boundaries!....


Jihadism in Egypt: the General’s Law in Sinai
The Economist

Hardened fighters now face government tanks and helicopter gunships, with increasingly terrified civilians caught in-between. Casualties are rising. In October the insurgents, most of them from local Bedouin tribes, killed more than 30 Egyptian soldiers and police. Security forces claimed to have killed scores of rebels. News reports counted 14 civilian dead.....


Meanwhile, public display of dead and or broken bodies is not novel in our history. Since the counter insurgency operation against the movements to establish an Islamic state, the DI/TII (Darul Islam / Tentara Islam Indonesia) in the 1950s, this has been a common method of state terror against Indonesia’s own citizens accused of being enemies of the state.  The tactic was used extensively during the massacre of suspected communists in 1965. ….


Battleground North Waziristan, Epicentre of Terrorism
Zahid Hussain

As one officer lamented “It is painful to pick up every day the bodies of our fellow soldiers and young officers often blown into pieces by IEDs, but it is more agonising to hear some politicians sympathising with the killers.”….


Rampant Arrogance of Turkey’s Islamists
Abdullah Bozkurt

A lavish palace with 1,000 rooms, a private residence with 250 rooms, a luxury plane and a special edition, custom-made car, all new toys for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the expense of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, are the ultimate embodiment of the growing disconnect between Turks and the current band of the country's leaders -- most are political Islamists who are motivated by muscle and money at home and imperial arrogance and big brother mentality abroad…..

Who Are We?
Thomas L. Friedman

Who Are We?
Thomas L. Friedman

…ISIS, is home-grown; its aim is not to strike at enemies far away, but to spread and impose its vision of an Islamic society right here and right now; it’s attracting Muslim youths from all over, including the West; its ideology is a violent mutation of the puritanical, non-pluralistic, Wahhabi Islam, the dominant trend in Saudi Arabia,….


Fundamentalist Islam and the Roots of Terrorism
Janet Tavakoli

Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian, two more were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt, and one from Lebanon. They were all from Arabic-speaking countries, and presumably the terrorists read Islamic scripture in the original Arabic. Muslim scholars did not unite to protest this act of terrorism. Instead, many celebrated a victory, because the Quran includes passages that permit violence to expand Islam. Most so-called Muslims are peace-loving, because they do not follow the rules. They practice Islam à la carte, a new religion…..


World Media on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

From Anders Behring Breivik's rampage on July 22, 2011, which killed 78 people in Oslo and Utoya, Norway, to the cheaply made hoax movie "Innocence of Muslims" of 2012, which caused world-wide protests and deaths, Islamophobic individuals and groups seek to defame the Muslim faith. These acts are then taken up by extremists to present the entire Western world as Islamophobic. An important corrective to this would be to acknowledge that ISIS and its likes make Muslims themselves victims of doctrinal distortion and extremism on the one hand, and Islamophobia and collective stereotyping on the other. Instead of blaming each other, Muslims and non-Muslims have a shared interest in breaking this vicious cycle……

The articles:

ISIS Is Creating Chaos, but They’re a Product of Organized Chaos

What If The Islamic State Wins?

ISIL’s Biggest Mistake: the Disastrous Aleppo Moment for Syrian Rebels Is Repeating Itself for ISIL, This Time in Kobani

Is Central Asia Afraid Of ISIS?

ISIS and Islamophobia


Continent of the Islamic State
Vijay Prashad

Al-Baghdadi took the opportunity to announce that his Islamic State (IS) has accepted the oath of loyalty (bay’ah) of the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis of Egypt, of the al-Qaeda operation in Yemen and of the city of Derna in Libya. Al-Baghdadi’s was a terrifying sermon of triumph — “divide their gatherings, split their body, dismember them completely.” Out of northern Iraq and Syria, the IS spills over into the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa…..


A State Of Confusion, Cynicism and War
M.J. Akbar

Just in case you missed the news, one side will display the seven stalks of wheat mentioned in the Quran, while the other has a map of the world. Why the map? Because the Caliph wants to bring the world under his rule. How? Check out the silver dinar. It shows a sword and shield, symbols of his jihad. Separately, Al Qaeda has already declared war on a range of nations, including India and Burma, but this is a purely terrorist enterprise. The Caliph already has geography and for the immediate future has his eyes set on Saudi Arabia….


Do Not Count On another 11/11/11 Declaring the End Of IS Any Time Soon
Harlan Ullman

Not only has the three and a half centuries old Westphalian system of state-centric politics been challenged by the empowerment of individuals, groups and non-state actors, particularly IS, the artificial boundaries of the Middle East, codified by the secret Sykes-Picot Treaty of 1916, have been eliminated. And the future of Islam, wracked by the struggle among radicals, conservatives and modernists as well as between Sunnis and Shias (and Saudi Arabia and Iran), has been thrust into what Winston Churchill once called the “volcano of Iraq” as long ago as 1922. Unless or until the White House grasps these realities, do not count on another 11/11/11 declaring the end of IS any time soon......


Pakistan: Darkening Tangle
Ajit Kumar Singh

It has been reliably learnt that DAISH (al Dawlah al Islamiyah fi al Iraq wal Shām, ISIS) has offered some elements of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Ahl-e-Sunnat wal Jamat (ASWJ) to join hands in Pakistan. DAISH has also formed a ten-member Strategic Planning Wing and now seek to inflict casualties on Pakistan Army outfits who are taking part in operation Zarb-e-Azb…..


What Does The Isis Heartland Look Like From The Skies? I Buckled Up My Seat Belt to Find Out
Robert Fisk

No Syrian passenger aircraft any longer routes over Raqqa – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Syrian “capital”, where his lads occasionally do a little beheading and even crucifixion in the town square – but we flew directly over the city of Deir el-Zour, where government troops still hold part of the town; there was brown smoke eddying from the eastern sector, one bridge over the green Euphrates broken in half, Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra fighters still trying to wipe out the last garrison. Neither pilot believed Isis had ground-to-air missiles – not yet, at least – and they dismissed the reports that two captured old MiGs had been put back into the air by the Islamists. “….


The Message from Burdwan
Tufail Ahmad

Here is how the ISI hides its own role in jihad and insulates Pakistan’s army. After the Wagah attack, it got the Khorasani-led Taliban to say it was a revenge for Zarb-e-Azb operation. After each turbulence in India-Pakistan ties, Pakistani journalists parrot this line: the army chief does not want to get involved in it. To insulate Pakistan’s army from global criticism after the Wagah attack, the ISI got a Christian couple burnt alive, successfully diverting public opinion. In recent years, Pakistan was globally criticised for its role in the 26/11 attacks. The message from Burdwan: have Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s assassination executed from Indian soil—fundamentally an ISI plan—so that India stops blaming Pakistan for the 26/11 attacks…..

Securing Kabul: Afghanistan Has Become For the TTP the Same Kind Of Safe Haven That the FATA and Quetta Used To Be For Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban
Christophe Jaffrelot

Kabul will fight the Haqqanis but protect others, including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah, who has probably been in the Afghan province of Kunar since 2010.  Ironically, Afghanistan has become for the TTP the same kind of safe haven that the FATA and Quetta used to be for al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. One way out may be to follow the recommendations of Lt Gen (retd) Talat Masood of the Pakistan army: “If we are unable to convince the Haqqani leadership and Quetta Shura that they should work out a negotiated settlement with the Afghan government then what have we gained by hosting these groups apart from inviting the hostility of the Afghan government and the international community and much worse?....

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