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Jonathan R. White www.cengage.com/cj/white Chapter 12:Religious Terrorism and the Soviet–Afghan war Rosemary Arway Hodges University
Afghan War Afghan Mujahedeen with Saudi Arabia fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in 1979. The United States in those days were ready to support any form of Islam against the Soviet Union. o They worked closely with Pakistani Interservice Intelligence Agency (ISI). After the Soviets left Afghanistan, Mujahedeen groups continued to fight over the control of the country.
Afghan War Al Qaeda o Osama bin Laden created al Qaeda during the last stages of the Soviet-Afghan War. o Group was composed of Islamic students who wanted to bring order to Afghanistan through the forced imposition of Islamic law. o It is one manifestation of the Jihadist movement that has millions of supporters and sympathizers.
Bin Laden, Zawahiri and al Qaeda Bin Laden: o Son of a wealthy Saudi Arabian construction executive who worked with the Saudi Government. o Tutored by the brother of Sayyid Qutb. o After the 1990 U.S. invasion of Iraq, bin Laden turned against Western nations. o In 1993 bin Laden was active in Somalia, but was forced to flee to Afghanistan. o After September 11, al Qaeda decentralized and spread activities around the world.
Bin Laden, Zawahiri and al Qaeda 9-11 Commission Report o bin Laden emerged as a symbol of Islamic discontent in the 1990s. o bin Laden formed an alliance with Abdullah Azzam. o bin Laden established a foundation as a potential general headquarters for future Jihad. o bin Laden developed a relationship with Ayman al Zawahiri. Umbrella organization similar to EIJ bin Laden and Zawahiri began planning model for al Qaeda.
Bin Laden, Zawahiri and al Qaeda Osama bin Laden became incensed when U.S. troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia after Desert Storm. o Began training and financing terrorist groups. o Called for overthrow of unsympathetic Muslim governments. ▪ Saudi cracked down on bin Laden because of his protests against Desert Storm. Bomb in Yemen hotel seen as the opening shot in bin Laden’s war against the U.S. 9-11 Commission believes bin Laden was/ remains funded by wealthy sympathizers.
Bin Laden, Zawahiri and al Qaeda Bin Laden’s philosophy: o Contends after Abdullah Azzam that Islam is corrupted and needs purification. o Blame is placed on heretical Islamic leaders o Believes much of the corruption is due to values and economic power of the West ▪ Especially the U.S. o Called to destroy the evil influence
Bin Laden, Zawahiri and al Qaeda Ayman al Zawahiri o Son of a prominent Egyptian family who became active in the Muslim Brotherhood and later in Egyptian Islamic Jihad. o Creator of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. o bin Laden joined Zawahiri ▪ In 1996 they declared war on the United States. ▪ In 1998 they declared the formation of the World Islamic Front against Jews and Crusaders. Ayman al Zawahiri’s philosophy o Jihadists should focus on the ‘near enemy’ (Corrupt governments in Muslim societies) before turning against ‘far enemy’ (Israel, the U.S.A).
Bin Laden, Zawahiri and al Qaeda Al Qaeda’s Political Theology o Radical Islamic schools – madrassas – glamorize violence. o Al Qaeda emphasizes its mission as a vanguard of popular uprising. o Many terrorist organizations uses al Qaeda in their names but tended to be fully autonomous groups with no connection to the al Qaeda structure that exists in Pakistan today. o Martin Hart believes that al Qaeda has lost much of its appeal because it has failed to inspire religious support beyond the members of its cells.
Misappropriated Theology Myth o Jihadist theology of violence does not convey the meaning of Islam. o Islam is a religion valuing peace and toleration. o Violent passages like those in the Koran can be found in the writings of all major religions. “...kill the disbelievers wherever we find them” (Koran 2:191) “fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem” (Koran 9:5) “murder them and treat them harshly” (Koran 9:123)
Misappropriated Theology The truth o Muslims quote early, relatively peaceful, tolerant verses while obscuring the more violent verses that abrogated those early verses. o Muslims believe that peace comes with the completion of global conquest when every person on Earth submits to the will of Allah (by force if necessary). In that sense, Islam is a religion of peace.
Misappropriated Theology Confusion about mainstream Islam complicates attempts to understand Jihadists. o Misunderstandings increase when Jihadists use religious rhetoric and language. o Militant Muslims depart from the path of Islam while endorsing violence. o Jihad is a duty and means for imposing their strict form of Islam. o Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them. ▪ In order to protect Islam. ▪ In order to gain the trust of non believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them. ▪ By Taqiyya (lie) and Kitman (omission)
Origins of Jihadist Networks Foundation of modern Jihadist power grew from the Cold War. Western allies channeled support to militant and nonviolent purification movements within Islam. o U.S. formed an alliance with Pakistani Interservice Intelligence Agency (ISI). o Began training and equipping the mujahideen, holy warriors. o Increased activities against the Soviets.
U.S. and the Mujahideen Research points to several important conclusions: o The U.S. helped Saudi Arabia develop a funding mechanism and underground arms network to supply the mujahideen. o U.S. agreed to give most of the weapons and supplies to the ISI. o Islamic charities flourished in the U.S. Donations supported the mujahideen. o U.S. abandoned war-torn Afghanistan when the Soviets left in 1989. Virtually ignored by the U.S., the Jihadist movement grew.
Jihad in Afghanistan al Qaeda was one of many paramilitary groups fighting in Afghanistan. U.S. failed to recognize the problem o U.S. oil companies sought alliances with hopes of building an oil pipeline from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. o U.S. paid more attention to potential profits than to political problems in Afghanistan. ▪ Essentially ignoring the issues
War on the U.S. Osama bin Laden declared war on the U.S. in 1996. Followed this by two religious rulings, fatwas, in 1998. o Fatwas reveal much about the nature of al Qaeda and bin Laden. o bin Laden represents new phase in Middle Eastern terrorism. o bin Laden uses Islam to call for religious violence. o bin Laden’s purpose is to kill; Fatwas call for the killing of any American anywhere in the world.
America Responds: Afghanistan and Iraq The Afghanistan Invasion o After September 11 America enjoyed international support because most of the world community felt that America was justifiably responding to the 9/11 attacks. o The Afghanistan war evolved into a counterinsurgency campaign against the Taliban. o The Bush administration began policy of attacks against militants in Pakistan. Obamas administration continues this policy. o Counterinsurgency gave way to nation building, a task far beyond the original scope of the mission.
Operation Iraqi Freedom Bush’s shift in attention from al Qaeda to Iraq caused the U.S. to lose the national and international support it enjoyed after September 11. Two suppositions by the Bush administration: o Iraq was holding weapons of mass destruction. ▪ Never found o Hussein established ties with al Qaeda. These actions may have given Jihadists incentive to fight. U.S. needs to fight terrorism by allying itself with the international community.
Operation Iraqi Freedom The Iraqi War o Quick defeat of Saddam Husain quickly turned to campaign of violence against the United States and its allies. o The insurgency in Iraq was not simply terrorism. ▪ Former Baathists ▪ Iraqis who sought the rapid departure of the United States ▪ Jihadists who came to Iraq to fight the USA
Al Qaeda Operational Capabilities After 9/11 al Qaeda ability to attack changed. o Still plotting and conducting attacks in the first decade of the 21st century; by the end of the decade its offensive capabilities were changing. Segeman o The greatest threat to the west comes from marginalized western Muslim immigrants and citizens that feel disenfranchised. o al Qaeda remains a significant presence, but the internet has become the most important source of radicalization.
Al Qaeda Operational Capabilities Hoffman o Intelligence assessments in Europe and the United States Bergen o Al Qaeda has suffered the loss of key operatives. o Al Qaeda has declining support among Muslims because of its attacks on civilians. Von Knop o Women have become increasingly important in al Qaeda, typically recruited in sisterhoods.
Networks in the Horn of Africa Kenya o The only sub-Saharan with al Qaeda cells, but there are many other known jihadist organizations in the Horn. The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa o (CJTH-HOA) has been effective in limiting jihadist activities, but the area still has an unstable political environment and a population that supports terrorism against the U.S. and its allies. Al Shabab o Emerged in Somalia in 2006 after the retreat of the Islamic Courts Union. o Some observers emphasize connections with al Qaeda, others emphasize its primarily local emphasis. o Nevertheless, Somalis living in the United States have been drawn to service in their homeland.
Pakistan Two international issues dominate Pakistan: nuclear weapons and relations with the United States. Pakistan has two groups associated with jihadist networks: Lashkar-e- Tayibba (L-e-T), which operates under a number of names; and the Pakistani Taliban.
Other Networks Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (based in Yemen) is the most active group in the jihadist network. Al Qaeda in the Maghreb developed in Algeria grew out of jihadist civil war in the 1990s. Bangladesh, whose ports have become centers of organized crime, has spawned two internal jihadist groups: o ul-Jihadul-Islami o Harkat ul-Jihad. Bangladesh o Radical religious parties have grown over the past decade, fueled by an increase in madrassas funded by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.
Other Networks Thailand is experiencing a rebellion in the southern states that are primarily Muslim in the otherwise predominantly Buddhist country. Indonesia has seen the growth of jihadist groups since it gained independence from the Netherlands following World War II. o Laskar Jihad and Jamaat Islamiyya have had contacts with Osama bin Laden, but claim to be independent.
Other Networks The Philippines has seen the emergence of three groups: o Two are concerned with separatist movements in the Southern islands of the archipelago: ▪ the Moro National liberation Front ▪ the Moro Islamic Liberation Front o The third group, Abu Sayuf, claims to be associated with the jihadist movement, but it is more closely associated with criminal activity.