Global Jihadism

Your readings for this paper topic consist of Wright, Hegghammer, and especially Joby Warrick’s Black Flags, Parts I and II. While the book serves as a history of the insurgent group ISIS up to about 2010-2011, it focuses primarily on the person of abu Musab al Zarqawi, who led the Iraqi chapter of Al Qaeda from the American-led invasion of 2003 to his death in 2006. To most observers, the Iraqi chapter seemed to be very much under the control of al Qaeda’s senior leadership, especially Osama bin Laden, during this time—however, just a few years later the two groups split and became bitter rivals. Why was this? What differences already existed between the Iraqi chapter of al Qaeda and al Qaeda’s central command in 2004-2006 that led the two groups to split by 2014? To develop this question, you should contrast the origins of al Qaeda as discussed in Wright, Law, and the PowerPoint, with Zarqawi and his influence on the Iraqi chapter, as discussed in the lecture and by Warrick. Zarqawi was very different from Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri in personality, background, and ideology. How did these leadership differences influence the evolution of jihadism after 9/11? At the same time, go beyond Zarqawi—after all, the Iraqi franchise did not officially split with al Qaeda until years after his death. How did the experience of war, occupation, and civil war affect the formation and radicalization of the Iraqi franchise from 2003-2007? How did it affect the ideology of the Iraqi franchise and its understanding of the possibility of Islamic revolution? Again, briefly contrast these ideas with the ideas of al Qaeda’s central command. What do these differences suggest about the overall nature of global jihad in the decades after the 9/11 attacks?

Here are links to some videos, thank you

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Global Jihadism

The split between the Islamic state of Iraq and al-sham can be explained systematically by employing counterfactuals when assessing the individual explanations for the split. Osama bin laden played a key role in keeping together the ISIS and the Al-Qaeda. Osama bin laden was well-versed with handling internal disputes more than his professor Dr Ayman Al-Zarqawi. The strategic differences that existed between ISIS and al Qaeda were therefore not sufficient to cause a split between the groups. ISIS emerged as a split from the Al-Qaeda as a response to the 2003 United States invasion. The head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi also fueled the split as he was an advocate for civil war between the Shiites and the Sunnis.

One of the major differences between al Qaeda and ISIS, was the emphasis of Al-Qaeda on fighting the far enemy which was the United States. The ice is however believed in the traditional jihadist beliefs which was fighting the near enemy. The new enemy referred to the repressive regimes in the Muslim world.

Both the ISIS and the Al-Qaeda insisted to lead the jihadist cause within the Muslim world. There are so many changes after the 9/11 attack. one major change was the Al-Qaeda who preferred to forge alliances with the existing groups. Al-Qaeda created affiliates and expanded its range while exposing its brand. The ISIS have also applied this tactic and have gotten more affiliates and even bigger. There’s always rivalry whenever there’s a call to jihadism. This has been witnessed in Yemen, Sinai, Pakistan, Libya, Algeria, and Afghanistan. The Islamic state have been more powerful than the Al-Qaeda as an entity. There has been a great regional instability caused by the presence of foreign soldiers in Yemen, Libya, Egypt, and Arabia.

Muslims argue that as much as Bakr al-Baghdadi never matched the 9/11 attack, his deeds outline or equal dose of Osama bin laden. He joined the group and became its leader after 34 of its 42 leaders had been killed or captured. The ISIS group spokesman Mohammed al-Adnan announced in June 2014 that they were to resurrect the caliphate. And that marked the start of al-Baghdadi reign. He was keen enough to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor by not being omnipresent in the group’s propaganda. This contrasts Osama bin Laden’s style who was ever present on the Al-Qaeda propaganda. Al-Baghdadi only appeared twice on camera and only issued fourteen public messages. He left the group to become more uncompromising with its enemies as contrasting to the reign Osama bin laden who focused on their minds and hearts strategy as seen in the Iraq jihad of 2003-2009. He also fueled the growth of global networks of jihadi organizations as opposed to his predecessors. This also contrasts Osama bin Laden’s leadership that promoted a unipolar leader for the global jihad movement.

The moderates and hardliners became more united by a state-sanctioned Shia Islamist ideology. Al-Qaeda looks like it’s losing in both Syria and Iraq. The United States and its allies are more engaged traverse the battlefield. they have however been profound implications and the United States counter terrorism resulting from their triumphs. The Islamic state have been more powerful than the Al-Qaeda as an entity. There has been a great regional instability caused by the presence of foreign soldiers in Yemen, Libya, Egypt, and Arabia.

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