Category Archives: Islamic State

Jihad is not caused by Poverty or Ignorance

by Christopher W. Holton

A favorite theory of TV pundits is the idea that Jihad is caused by socioeconomic problems. If only there were more educational and economic opportunities in places like the Middle East and Southwest Asia…and Europe…and New York…and Tennessee…and California…and Florida…and Texas…we wouldn’t be seeing all this “terrorism.”

The problem for the pundits is that there is no evidence to back up this theory. Study after study continues to show that the average Jihadi is above average in terms of education and economic status.

In some cases, like Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Jihadist leaders gave up lucrative lifestyles to pursue Jihad. And time and time again, from Mohammed Atta, the notorious ring leader of the 9/11 hijackers, to the latest example linked below, the rank and file Jihadis are often not deprived either…

First picture of Sheffield dentistry student found guilty of terrorism offences

It took jurors just over a day to find Mohammed Abbas Idris Awan, of Dun Street, Sheffield guilty of one offence of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism and two offences of possessing a record likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Judge Paul Watson QC adjourned the case until Wednesday, December 20 when Awan will be sentenced. The former University of Sheffield student was remanded into custody until that time.

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/first-picture-of-sheffield-dentistry-student-found-guilty-of-terrorism-offences-1-8908313

What do the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood Have in Common? Islamic Doctrine

by Christopher W. Holton

The folks over at the Clarion Project have a review of a new report published by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. The report is entitled: “Struggle Over Scripture: Charting the Rift Between Islamist Extremism and Mainstream Islam.”

On the one hand, the report recognizes the close affiliation between the ideas of the Islamic State and other violent Jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood, which some describe as “Islamist” in that it promotes an Islamic political agenda.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the report refuses to recognize the “elephant in the room,” namely why the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood are so closely aligned.

“The evidence now shows that there is considerable ideological overlap in how Islamic scripture is used by Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, and violent jihadists, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda,” said Dr Emman El-Badawy, head of research at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Clarion adds the following commentary:

The findings of the study about the close ideological connection between jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood were borne out historically as well as noted in current events.

In the recently released CIA documents seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, papers show bin Laden’s ideology from the beginning was affiliated with the Brotherhood.

“I was committed to the Muslim Brotherhood, despite their limited curriculum,” bin Laden said in hand-written notes. “I was religious from a young age…There was no one guiding me like the Brotherhood was. It was just natural instinct.”

In a recent appearance, Palestinian-Jordanian historian Husni Ayesh, a former member of Jordan’s Board of Education, said ISIS and al-Qaeda developed from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The leader of al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen also recently said in a statement that his group has formed alliances with other Sunni jihadists in the country, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

In addition, despite Hamas’ apparent attempt to distance itself from its own terrorist past and its parent body, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Brotherhood insists the two are still connected.

The report notes that claims by groups such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda to have theological backing for their violence are going unchallenged by mainstream Islamic scholars.

Now we get to the crux of the matter.

First of all, let’s point out that the term “Islamist” is basically flawed redundancy because mainstream Islamic doctrine has no recognition of secular government or politics. It has always been assumed in Islamic history that the government must govern by Allah’s law.

We don’t object strenuously to the use of this term though because we do not believe it covers up anything and mainly because the Ayatollah Khomeini, certainly one of the most infamous Islamic leaders of all time on at least one occasion referred to himself as an “Islamist.” At TTB we don’t believe in making up terms to describe the enemy, but if the enemy uses a term himself, then we see no problem in its usage.

There is a reason why the Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy is so close to that of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda and it has been known for decades to those paying attention: they all base their activities on Islamic doctrine.

It is mainstream Islamic doctrine that all Muslims must strive for the formation of the caliphate so that Allah’s religion is supreme over all other religions and so that Allah’s law rules over all (Allah’s law being shariah).This is not Jihadist ideology. It is not Islamist philosophy. It is mainstream Islamic doctrine, which forms the foundation for ideologies and philosophies. (More on the relationship between Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology in an upcoming article soon.)

The Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are all fighting and working toward establishing a caliphate ruled by shariah. That is why they seem so similar in philosophy–they have the same doctrine and goal.

This is not new, though we welcome the Tony Blair Institute in recognizing it.

Now, this brings us to the question of why these groups’ justification for their actions are going “unchallenged by mainstream Islamic scholars.”

The reason is simple once again. No Islamic scholar can challenge their goals because their stated goals of establishing a caliphate and establishing rule by shariah is mainstream Islamic doctrine.

There is no disagreement. There may be disagreement on methodology from time to time but the doctrine is clear. And make no mistake, organizations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State base all their actions with copious quotation and interpretation of Islamic scripture, either the Quran or the just as important Sunnah of Mohammed.

The Sunnah of Mohammed is the doctrine that the Prophet Mohammed was considered the perfect example for all Muslims to follow and all Muslims should do their best to emulate him in every way. The Sunnah of Mohammed comes from the Hadith (stories and sayings about his life) and the Sira, which is his biography.

Believe it or not, from a practical standpoint, the Sunnah of Mohammed is more important than even the Quran because there is simply not enough information in the Quran to learn to be a pious, devout Muslim. But the Quran does command Muslims to do as Mohammed did, so they go to the Hadith and the Sira to find out what to do.

Mohammed waged violent jihad–often. Mohammed killed Jews–on a mass scale. Mohammed married a 6 year old girl. Mohammed had multiple wives. Mohammed owned many slaves, including concumbines–Christian sex slaves. All of this is part of Islamic doctrine because Mohammed did it and no one is authorized to change that.

You won’t hear a mainstream Islamic scholar criticize anything Mohammed did. To do so would amount to apostasy, for which he can be put to death.

https://clarionproject.org/ideology-links-brotherhood-isis-tony-blair-study/

https://www.thenational.ae/world/islamic-scholars-failing-to-challenge-isil-narrative-1.681784

Daily Mail: Pro-Islamic State Jihadist Org Calls for Attacks on Western Children

posted by Christopher W. Holton

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The Daily Mail in the UK is reporting today on a new threat from a Jihadist organization calling on Muslims to attack children in the West.

Of course, Jihadi attacks on children are nothing new. The victims of the Manchester bombing in Great Britain were mostly teen age girls.

A pro-ISIS jihadist group has called for Muslims to murder children in the West, an anti-extremism organisation has warned.

The terrorists – calling themselves the all-Qastantiyyah Foundation – called for the slayings through the Telegram app.

They singled out the US, Australia and Europe as targets.

Earlier this year, a different jihadist group – also pro-ISIS – called for children to be murdered in the West.

ISIS, however, enslaves, tortures, rapes and murders children as a matter of principle, according to the United Nations.

The Islamist group also forces children to fight its battles, and often records videos of youngsters murdering prisoners in gruesome ways.

Earlier this week, ISIS terrorists operating on the Afghan-Pakistan border forced child soldiers to cut off the arms of a man they said was a spy.

He was then beheaded by a boy no older than 10.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5133229/Jihadist-group-calls-attacks-Western-children.html

 

 

More on the Jihad Threat this Christmas and New Year’s Season

by Christopher W. Holton

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Both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda have issued audio, video or online threats to attack the West this Christmas.

These threats focus on European population centers, such as Paris and London, and New York City in America, though the possibility of Jihadi attacks in other places in the West can certainly not be discounted. History has shown that places as diverse geographically as Brussels, Berlin and San Bernardino have all been targeted, especially at Christmas time.

Lone Wolf or Individual Jihad?

The possible attacks in the West could take the form of organized, planned attacks directed from Jihadi leaders overseas or inside Europe or America, or they could be carried out by individuals “inspired” by Jihadist ideology.

Ironically, very often, Western media and officials seem to take some form of weird comfort when a deadly attack ends up being the work of an individual jihadi, as opposed to an organized cell or affiliate of a known terrorist group.

In reality, the opposite should be the case.

First of all, none of the Jihadist groups–Islamic State, Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, Lashkar e Taiba, Ansar al-Sharia, Abu Sayyef, Jemaah Islamiyeh–issue membership cards or wear uniforms. So a case can be made that classification of an attacker as “inspired” or “directed” could be a distinction without a difference.

But there is a difference between a cell such as the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks after training and planning conducted by Al Qaeda’s leadership and infrastructure, and the husband and wife team who shot up a Christmas party of people they knew and worked with in San Bernardino. (Though it is vital that we understand that their acts are based on the same Islamic doctrine and they are tied together by the same Jihadist ideology.)

So which flavor of Jihadi is more dangerous?

If you’re on the receiving end of an attack, it makes no difference to you, but by casualty count, the cell would appear to pose a greater threat. On the other hand, the inspired attacks seem to happen much more frequently.

A case can be made that individual Jihadis pose a greater challenge for our intelligence and law enforcement communities.

Cells have to be organized, trained and communicated back and forth with. All of this provides opportunities for detection and even infiltration.

Individual jihadis don’t offer any of these potential vulnerabilities. One can infiltrate a cell, especially one in which members are using cell phones and email to contact each other and leaders elsewhere. How does one infiltrate one guy, like the Chattanooga, Tennessee shooter, the Orlando shooter or the Uzbeki vehicle jihad attacker in New York City?

If the individual jihadi isn’t communicating with others and no one is aware of his or her plans, how are our intelligence and law enforcement assets supposed to detect them “left of bang” (before the attack)?

Unfortunately, here in the West, and the U.S. in particular, we have failed to even properly identify the nature of the threat. A popular term in Western vernacular to describe the threat of individual jihad is the term “lone wolf.”

The term “lone wolf” does not appear in Islamic doctrine, nor is it part of any Jihadist group ideology.

What is part of Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology is the concept of Jihad as an individual obligation. So what we have been seeing around the world are acts of individual jihad based on Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology. Given the basis for these attacks, they are not “senseless violence.” We can explain and understand these attacks based upon Islamic doctrine and Jihadist ideology.

Most importantly, the wave of individual jihadi attacks in recent years is all part of plans articulated by Jihadi ideologues:

Successful jihad will only happen within an ummah [Islamic nation or community] in which the fighting creed is firmly established and clarified. This must happen in order to attain the “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” that will spontaneously give rise to instruments of resistance.

 Violent jihad is as an individual duty obligatory upon every Muslim. All the ulema have said this…”

The Call to Global Islamic Resistance
Abu Musab al-Suri
Al Qaeda propagandist
Captured in Pakistan 2005

We are now seeing this “Revolutionary Jihadist Climate” in the West as evidenced by the rise of seemingly spontaneous acts of Jihad carried out by individual Muslims with no known direct contacts with Jihadist organizations.

It is this threat that we are most likely to see this Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your Local Jihadi

Warnings in Jihadist literature and on Jihadi social media aren’t meant to give us a heads up. They are meant to inspire individual Jihadis to rise up and attack, in this case during the Christmas season. If recent history is any indication, we will see an act of deadly jihad somewhere in the West as a result of these communications.

The Christmas and New Year season is a particularly high-risk period as it offers unusually large numbers of potentially high-value and high-casualty targets, not just in places like New York, London, Paris and Berlin, but in just about every major city in the West.

The holiday season brings large crowds at sporting events, Christmas celebrations and ceremonies, churches, parks, restaurants and other gathering locations. In addition, the holiday season is also characterized by high volumes of leisure travel leading to large numbers of travellers in airports and train depots. The vast number of potential targets makes it virtually impossible for homeland security and law enforcement agencies to deploy enough personnel to successfully prevent every possible attack.

The Western holiday season is particularly attractive to Islamic jihadists because any successful attack, even a minor one, becomes a propaganda victory that can inspire others to follow suit and aid in Jihadist organization recruitment (despite what the U.S. government has said, Jihadis don’t recruit based on the prison at Gitmo; they recruit based on their successful attacks).

Jihadists have repeatedly demonstrated their will and capacity to plan and execute attacks during high-profile events. The Nice (July 216), Berlin (December 2016) and Manchester (May 2017) attacks show how individual jihadis and small cells can successfully carry out mass-casualty attacks. Despite their resounding defeats in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State continues to benefit from supporters in the West, which means there is a greater risk of terrorist attacks in the West during the holiday season.

We are most likely to see vehicle jihad using large trucks, knife jihad (stabbings) and shooting attacks, but improvised explosive device (IED) attacks are certainly also a possibility using pressure cookers (Boston marathon bombing), fertilizer and diesel fuel (1993 World Trade Center bombing) or propane tanks (failed Time Square VBIED attack).

This is why intelligence services and foreign service offices continue to issue bulletins almost on a daily basis for Europe. As Christmas nears, we should expect to see such alerts issued for major events in the U.S. as well.

The Muslim Brotherhood: the Grandfather of all Sunni Jihadist Groups

muslimbrotherhood2

posted by Christopher W. Holton

The Muslim Brotherhood is the forerunner of all modern Jihadist terror organizations: HAMAS, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State all can trace their origins to the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the case of HAMAS, it is in actuality THE Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza.

Islam provides the doctrinal basis for the Muslim Brotherhood and its modern offspring. But it is largely the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideologues–Qutb, al Banna and others–that provided the ideological underpinnings for Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and others.

Arab media is increasingly addressing the insidious role of the Muslim Brotherhood. The article excerpted and linked below would have been unheard of a dozen years ago.

The fight to uproot terrorism and extremism begins at its Muslim Brotherhood roots, with that organisation’s structure, doctrines and ideologues.

The US government has recently released to the public a large batch of documents that were recovered in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011. What strikes one immediately, in these documents, is how the terrorist ideology that obsessed Bin Laden was rooted in Muslim Brotherhood ideology. The Al-Qaeda leader was steeped in the literature published by the Muslim Brotherhood’s founders and ideologues…

This phenomenon is hardly unique among prominent terrorists and their organisations. The Muslim Brotherhood had always served as the “incubator” and the primary school in which terrorists take their first steps towards embracing extremist thought and its violent applications. Leaders of such organisations as Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and the Islamic Jihad in Egypt emerged directly from the folds of Muslim Brotherhood thought and practice. Among the star students were current Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahri, Mohamed Ata, who led that terrorist attack against the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001, and the mastermind of the whole operation, Khaled Sheikh Mohamed. Although some of those individuals and organisations had their differences with the Muslim Brotherhood at some later juncture, their collective “jihadist” thought had its origins with the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood, whether in its first edition (Hassan Al-Banna) or its second edition (Sayed Qotb). While Qotb is always regarded as the father of contemporary terrorists, his ideas and outlooks can be traced to Al-Banna and the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928.

Read the rest of this important article…

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/23056.aspx

 

British step up counterterrorism measures as threat of jihad looms

posted by Christopher W. Holton

British security services are preparing a new crackdown on terrorism as the threat against the UK continues to grow.

Ben Wallace, the security minister, said a total of eight planned attacks have now been thwarted since the Isis-inspired massacre in Westminster in March, bringing the total to 21 since 2013.

“Nearly 600 investigative leads are ongoing, covering about 3,000 people and approximately another 20,000 people who we have at some stage had concern about,” he told the Westminster Counter-terrorism Conference.

Around 850 people travelled from the UK to join Isis and al-Qaeda in Syria, with 15 per cent killed and half returned home, according to Government figures.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-terror-attacks-isis-threat-rising-new-terrorism-strategy-propaganda-online-islamic-state-a8072641.html

U.S. Continues to Step Up Campaign Against Al Shabaab Jihadists in Somalia

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posted by Christopher W. Holton

The policy of the Trump administration seems clearly aimed at pursuing violent Jihadists  militarily where ever they gather. This stands in stark contrast to the Obama era policies which allowed violent Jihadists to have safe havens in various areas of the world.

No where is this more true than in Somalia, where Al Shabaab has become resurgent. Clearly the U.S. is now actively engaged in pursuing and destroying Al Shabaab jihadists…

U.S. forces say they have carried out three drone strikes within 24 hours in Somalia, stepping up their campaign against the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab and the Islamic State group. With these three attacks, the U.S. has now carried out 26 attacks in Somalia against extremist targets in 2017.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-carries-drone-strikes-extremists-somalia-51099066

 

 

Internal Threat from Jihad Persists in France Two Years After Paris Attacks

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posted by Christopher W. Holton

Two years after the Jihadist attacks that have turned Paris into a virtual armed camp, the plague of Jihad that the French imported into their society continues to pose a violent terrorist threat.

Two years after militants killed 130 people in co-ordinated attacks across Paris, French officials say there remains an unprecedented level of “internal” threat.
With Islamic State (IS) losing ground in Iraq and Syria, hundreds of French citizens – and in some cases their children – are expected to attempt to return to France, leaving the government in a quandary over how to deal with them.

 

There has also been the passage of more stringent French legislation, with the most recent law, effective this month, giving police extended powers to search properties, conduct electronic eavesdropping and shut mosques or other locations suspected of preaching hatred.

While he has ended the state of emergency brought in after the attacks, heavily-armed soldiers still patrol the streets of Paris daily, and barely a week goes by without a police operation to round up suspects. According to the interior ministry, extraordinary measures have helped intelligence agencies thwart more than 30 attacks in the last two years. Last week, the police arrested nine people and another was apprehended in Switzerland in a co-ordinated counter-terrorism operation.

 

French prosecutor Francois Molins has said that while larger cells are still plotting, more attacks are likely to come from isolated individuals using “low-cost” methods such as cars or knives to kill.
“We are witnessing a new bout of isolated actions, 11 since the beginning of the year, which supports the idea of an increasing endogenous threat,”

 

Of particular concern is what to do about hundreds of French citizens who went to fight with IS and may now seek to return. French secret services estimates that around 690 French nationals are now in Iraq and Syria, including 295 women. Estimates from late 2015 suggested around 2,000 French citizens had gone to fight with IS.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/570952/France-frets-over-internal-threat-two-years-after-

 

 

 

Video Footage of Philippine Military Fighting the Islamic State

posted by Christopher W. Holton

This serves as a good reminder that we are in a world war. Western political leaders don’t want to admit that the war exists, but the 200,000 residents of the Philippine city of Marawi know all too well about the war.

The Islamic State seized control of their city more than two weeks ago and this video illustrates the degree to which the Philippine military is going to battle against the Jihadists in their country…

It seems to us that our grandfathers did not liberate the Philippines from Japanese imperialism from 1944 to 1945 only to have Jihadists seize control and impose their barbaric way of life on the good and brave people of the Philippines.

And Now Jihad in Australia…

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Jihadist Yacqub Khayre, KIA by Australian police

by Christopher Holton

We can now add Melbourne, Australia to the long list of Western cities victimized by jihad during the Muslim “holy” month of Ramadan.

Late yesterday afternoon, Yacqub Khayre, 29, an Australian citizen of Somali descent–who came to Australia as a child refugee at the age of 4–killed one innocent victim and took another hostage before being killed by police in a shootout and siege that lasted some 2 hours.

Khayre killed a Chinese-Australian man in the lobby of an apartment building in the affluent  Brighton area of Melbourne. He then took a woman hostage in the building. Within two hours he was shot dead by police after opening fire on them.

Initial reports of the incident indicated that it was not “terrorist-related,” however those reports turned out to be inaccurate.

It turns out that Khayre called a local television station during the stand-off stating, “This is for the Islamic State, this is for Al-Qaeda.”

Subsequently, the Islamic State media arm, Amaq, claimed credit for the attack, stating,””The executor of the Melbourne attack in Australia is a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried out the attack in response to appeals to target citizens of coalition states.”

Once again, it turns out that Yacqub Khayre was known to authorities, had a long history of violence, had previously been charged with a terror offense but acquitted and was known to have connections in the past, with “violent extremists,” (which is of course a misnomer for Jihadists)

 

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