Monday, 28 April 2008

PRE-911 JIHADI STRATEGIES

Jihadist Strategic Debates before 9/11
Steven Brooke
The Nixon Center, Washington, DC,

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism,
Volume 31, Issue 3, March 2008

Abstract
In 2004 Lia and Hegghammer observed a new genre of "jihadi strategic
studies," characterized by secular-rational analyses, familiarity
with Western sources, and a willingness to self-critique. Through
four case studies (the strategies of takfir groups in 1960/1970s
Egypt, the far enemy-near enemy debate, the differing revolutionary
modes of Al Jihad and Gamaa Islamiyya, and the decision by Al Qaeda
to target the West) this article finds that many of the traits
observed by Lia and Hegghammer have deep roots among jihadist
thinkers. This article will interest those who study terrorism,
strategy, and the history of Islamic militancy.


Introduction


After 11 September 2001 jihadists began issuing pragmatic and
objective studies of the United States and the best way to counter
the War on Terror.1 Two analysts who have examined these works, in
particular the alleged roadmap for the 3/11 Madrid bombing, call
this emergent discourse "jihadi strategic studies." According to
Brynjar Lia and Thomas Hegghammer, this phenomenon consists of "very
little theological exegesis" and instead "secular-rational" and
pragmatic analyses of the battlespace, often drawing heavily from
Western strategic literature.2 Instead of citing the Quran, these
new thinkers cite Clausewitz. However, the antecedents of this field
are under explored. Where did the impetus for this strategic
thinking come from? How new are jihadi strategic studies?

Although jihadist strategic studies did indeed fully emerge after
9/11, it is critical to analyze them as the culmination of a process
of jihadist thought rather than a fully independent development.
Decades before the emergence of Al Qaeda and "jihadi strategic
studies" there existed a number of jihadist groups with widely
varied tactical and strategic imperatives, despite a general
agreement on the need to overthrow existing governments and
resurrect the Caliphate. These debates also contained careful,
rational analyses of the situation, including attention paid to
remarkably mundane logistical matters. Yet a significant difference,
rightly noted by Lia and Hegghammer, is the heavy religious
references that support these earlier debates.3 In a sense, today's
jihadi strategists can divorce strategy from theology because their
predecessors had largely provided theological justification. Many of
these early religio-operational debates planted the seeds that
flowered into the purely strategic contests that today convulse the
jihadist universe.

Analysis of these earlier debates has been scarce.4 When they have
occurred, usually they are single case studies rather than an
examination of the overall strategic development of the jihadist
movement. Studying these earlier debates is also difficult, largely
because many are inaccessible. Whereas the new genre of strategic
studies mainly occurs over the Internet, allowing interested parties
access to the tracts, manifestoes, and even message board postings,
their precedents were conducted via pamphlet and in limited-run
organizational bulletins and journals. Yet these earlier debates
were interlinked and these groups analyzed and interrogated previous
experiences. This communication has been both explicit and implicit
in the literature. Analyzed over time, these groups reveal
themselves as strategically adaptive and responsive to internal and
external pressures. They also demonstrate a capacity to learn from
successes and failures.

This article analyzes four significant debates over jihadist
strategy prior to 9/11: 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.

Although jihadist strategic debates have existed throughout much of
the Muslim world, this article will focus on mainly Egyptian cases
and include information and examples from other groups and locales
where helpful. There are two reasons for this. Primarily, Egypt is
arguably where the most interesting and interrelated debates
occurred. Egypt has an unfortunately rich history of armed Islamic
groups which has provided enough material for an exploratory study.
Secondarily, and more relevant for those interested in policymaking,
many persons involved in the Egyptian cases selected now dot the
upper echelons of Al Qaeda. Understanding those fractious
personalities and their tendencies contributes to a further
understanding of the contemporary jihadist movement.


A Question of Apostasy


The departure point for many of these strategic debates was kufr.
Kufr is derived from the root K-F-R, which literally means "to
cover." Yet in the Islamic context, kufr comprehends something far
more serious. Kufr, according to Charles Adams, is everything that
is "unacceptable and offensive to Allah. It is, in fact, one of the
pivotal ideas of the Quran Kufr is, as it were, the negative pole of
Quranic thought, diametrically opposed to imam, or faith."5 To
declare someone a kaffir (takfir) is an awesome weapon, for it
sanctifies their murder. The struggle over this question arose in
the 1960's as the Islamic movement engaged in a vicious
confrontation with the Egyptian government. As the Muslim
Brotherhood attempted to reconcile the accomodationist legacy of its
founder, Hasan al Banna, with the confrontational attitudes of its
dynamic thinker Sayyid Qutb the group fractured and ejected its most
violent elements.6 How these groups understood and utilized takfir
was crucial in determining the later priorities of the jihadist
movement.

Nasser's emergence as the Brotherhood's main antagonist created an
immense ideological crisis for the group. The Brothers thought that
the 1952 revolution (which they had supported) had wiped away all
colonial accoutrements and cleared the way for a truly Islamic state
to emerge. Yet Nasser and the Free Officers, many of them closely
tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, not only reneged on the idea of an
Islamic state but turned on the Brotherhood. After attempting to
assassinate Nasser in 1954 the Brotherhood was completely repressed.
Reportedly over 20,000 Brotherhood members were arrested during this
time, 11,000 of which were subjected to long prison terms. Many were
horribly tortured. Zaynab al Ghazali, a key figure in the post-1954
reorganization of the Brotherhood, later wrote that "with the events
of 1954 the mask concealing Nasir's face dropped away. His enmity
toward Islam, through the war that he waged against Islamic
activists and their leaders, was now very apparent."7

In teeming, grimy Egyptian cells a number of Muslim Brothers began
to question how their tormentors could claim to be Muslims while
carrying out their vicious duties. To the more militant factions of
the Muslim Brotherhood Sayyid Qutb's ideology was a godsend. Qutb's
confrontational beliefs created the space to judge Muslims as
apostates.8 These ideas spread among those Brothers disgusted with
their compatriot's acquiescence and passivity in the face of
adversity.9

Qutb's ideology of violent confrontation, even with an avowedly
Muslim leader, forced a broader reassessment within the Brotherhood.
Some believed that the society that bred their torturers and
acquiesced to Nasser's secular state was simply suffering from
insufficient knowledge about Islam. The solution, therefore, was to
redouble efforts at preaching (dawa) and education (tarbiyya) while
lessening the emphasis on politics. This view was held by the
majority of the Brotherhood, who attempted to convince other
elements that this was the group's true historical mission. They
found support in the statements of al Banna and began to publicize
their position in the party newspaper al Dawa. One of Banna's
arguments was that:

Kufr (unbelief) means the open denial of the existence of God.
Therefore, no Muslim who pronounced the shahada (the Muslim
confession of faith - "there is no god but God and Muhammed is his
Prophet") can be accused of unbelief even if he committed a grave
sin.10

Banna's successor as General Guide, Hasan al Hudaybi, also tried to
combat the takfiri beliefs. In addition to directly debating the
extremists, Hudaybi issued Preachers, Not Judges, in which he
disputed the use of takfir. He argued that "whomever judges that
someone is no longer a Muslim, it is they who have deviated from
Islam and transgressed God's will because they have judged another
person's faith."11

However, some rejected Hudaybi's case. They argued that the Islamic
state had failed because society had rejected Islam. This
necessitated the use of takfir.12 Yusuf al Qaradawi, an influential
Muslim Brotherhood thinker, describes the almost comical fracturing
over the question of takfir:

Those who agreed that such rulers are kufr were regarded as
friends; those who did not as enemies, even kufr, claiming that he
who holds any doubt about the kufr of a kafir (an unbeliever) is
himself a kafir. But that was not all. Another question was raised
about the people who submit to and obey such rulers. The answer was
ready: they are also kuffar like their rulers, because - it was
claimed - he who submits to a kafir is himself a kafir.13


The People or the Prince?

Ejected from the Brotherhood, a number of militant offshoots would
begin to formulate strategies based on their particular conception
of takfir. Two groups in particular each championed different
targets of takfir. Was it only the ruler, whose iniquity shielded
the emergence of a truly Islamic society, or had society itself
rejected Islam?

The first group emerged in April 1974, when the Palestinian Saleh
Siriyya and his followers attempted to overthrow the Egyptian
government. Siriyya was a member of the secretive Hizb ut Tahrir in
Jordan and Iraq and had links with other parties, including the
Muslim Brotherhood and reportedly even the Jordanian Communist
Party.14 Probably because of these competing influences, Siriyya's
blend of theology and strategy was eclectic and original, and drew
on all his former affiliates. Siriyya planned to capture the
Military Technical Academy in Heliopolis, then use the weapons there
to decapitate the Egyptian government. Although the attempt
ultimately failed, according to Saad Eddin Ibrahim it
was "spectacular in volume, planning, and timing."15

Siriyya's methodology revealed his belief that gaining state power
was an integral part of Islamizing society. He determined that the
Brotherhood had failed because of their Fabian, accomodationist
strategy. Siriyya believed that the extensive intelligence,
military, and police apparatus of the modern state would render the
peaceful development of a movement that would eventually claim power
for itself impossible.

But Siriyya also critiqued Hizb ut Tahrir's vanguard approach. Hizb
ut Tahrir believed that an "outstanding elite" would carefully and
clandestinely recruit people in positions of power while openly
spreading the organization's ideas.16 When the organizational
strength of Hizb ut Tahrir was assured, the time would be right for
a coup. Although Siriyya accepted Hizb ut Tahrir's argument for a
vanguard (reportedly he named his group the "Vanguard of the
Supporters") he eschewed prostelyzation totally. Siriyya believed
that the success of his coup was not dependent on active popular
backing. After a comprehensive putsch and the formation of an
Islamic government (Hizb ut Tahrir stands ready with a constitution
for an Islamic state), a truly Islamic society would emerge
naturally. Rather than Hizb ut Tahrir, this was similar to Hasan al
Banna's view that a divinely ordained government would "guide the
body of Muslims to the mosques and make them adopt the Islamic
pattern in their lives."17

The second pole of the takfir debate was embodied in the enigmatic
persona of Shukri Mustapha. In 1971 Mustapha was released from
prison, where had been held since 1965 for distributing Muslim
Brotherhood material.18 The experience had radicalized him to the
point that he enthusiastically embraced takfir. Although his prison
following consisted of a single relative (many in his original cell
were won over by Hudaybi's arguments), upon his release Mustapha
relentlessly recruited and promulgated his vision. In 1974 Mustapha
and Siriyya became aware of each other and tried to merge their
groups, although the alliance was ultimately unsuccessful.19

Siriyya and Mustapha differed significantly over the issue of
takfir. Whereas Siriyya argued that an Islamic society was prevented
only by an impious ruler, Mustapha believed that the entire society
should be considered unIslamic. So whereas Siriyya judged only the
ruler worthy of takfir, Mustapha broadened this to the entire
society.20

Mustapha's view was informed by his ultra-narrow reading of the
Quran. In particular he believed the last portion of the Quranic
verse 2:232: "Allah knows while you do not know" meant that
everything after the Quranic revelation was false, all theology,
history, politics. Anyone who followed a form of Islam other than
his chose to be an infidel. There was no middle ground. According to
Mustapha, "if one religious obligation is missed, the rest are
nullified every Muslim who the call reached but turned away is an
infidel infidels deserve death."21

The Prophet Muhammed's emigration to Medina only to return and
conquer the pagan Meccans led Mustapha to believe in the importance
of separation and immigration away from the apostate society.
Accordingly, his group was nicknamed by the press takfir wal hijra,
(excommunication and holy flight). Mustapha assumed that after he
and his followers had created a parallel, holy society (he
envisioned the mountains of Upper Egypt) he would merely have to
wait out the weakening of the jahiliyya (unIslamic) society.
According to Mustapha, after his group had separated:

Retribution will descend on them, and not fall upon us; mercy will
descend upon us, and will not fall upon them, as there can be no
intermingling or mixing or confusion between truth and lies, and God
would not assist a society that pretends to support Islam, while its
core beliefs are still jahiliyya beliefs, and its branches are
intertwined with the branches of jahiliyya.22

Mustapha's denunciations of the state and frequent breaking of laws
(which he judged to be unIslamic) brought attention. When a
government religious official wrote the preface to a pamphlet that
charged the group with errors of belief, Mustapha kidnapped the
official and killed him when the government refused to pay the
ransom. The security services mobilized against Mustapha, and he was
hanged in 1978.

The experiences of Shukri Mustapha and Saleh Siriyya did not dampen
the resonance of jihadist strategic thought in Egypt. A new set of
strategic questions were taking shape. In particular, discussions
began occurring over attacking Israel directly. Jihadists termed
Israel (and its Western supporters) "the far enemy," in contrast to
those who supported continuing the campaign against apostate rulers
in Muslim countries, the "near enemy."

There were two reasons for the emergence of this debate. The
relative Arab success in the 1973 war challenged notions of Israel's
superiority, which the jihadists noticed. Mustapha and Siriyya's
failure to gain state power also led some jihadist thinkers to argue
against wasting effort fighting an at least nominally Islamic state
and instead focus on Israel, the greater danger. In particular Fathi
al Shiqaqi, the founder of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, argued that
fighting the Jews was a Quranic imperative and should not be
postponed in favor of attacking apostate rulers.23


The Near Enemy or the Far Enemy?


In 1978 Mohammed Abdelsalam Faraj joined one of the jihad groups
sprouting all over Egypt. A year later the group was uncovered by
the police, but the young electrician managed to escape. Faraj,
described by former associates as "fiery and charismatic," soon
started his own group.24 Through recruitment and mergers a larger
group emerged, which called itself Al Jihad.25

In Upper Egypt at the same time another group, loosely called Gamaa
al Islamiyya (IG) was also agitating against the regime. According
to Talat Fouad Qasim, a founding member, the group formed "in the
mid-70s with nine people in Minya reading the works of Ibn Taymiyya,
Abu al Ala Mawdudi, Sayyid Qutb, Sayyid Sabiq and others."26

In 1980 Al Jihad and IG decided to merge. The new group, which
retained the name Al Jihad, asked Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind
al Azhar graduate, to become their spiritual advisor.27 While Rahman
controlled spiritual matters, Faraj oversaw political ones.28

Al Jihad's most significant document was a pamphlet written
specifically as an internal discussion paper by Faraj. Entitled The
Neglected Duty, it is one of the keystone statements of early
jihadist strategic thought. The first part concerns the religious
classification of the threats facing the umma, particularly from
governments in the Muslim world. The second is a strategic analysis
of how to prioritize the campaign against these threats. Although
Faraj does not mention Egypt by name in the document, it is clear
that government is the target of his analysis.

Faraj begins by mentioning Abu Hanifa, a key Islamic jurist, who had
theorized about how to determine the Islamic character of a state.
Paraphrasing Abu Hanifa, Faraj argues that a state is un-Islamic if
three conditions are met:

If it is ruled by other laws than those of Islam
There is no safety for the Muslim inhabitants
It is adjacent or close to dar al kufr (an Islamic term denoting a
non Islamic land) (because) this proximity is dangerous for the
Muslims.29

To support the first point Faraj heavily references Ibn Taymiyya's
thirteenth century campaign against the Mongols, for example in a
section entitled heading "Ibn Taymiyya's Collection of Fatwas is
Useful in the Present Age."30 Faraj concludes that:

The Mongols and their likes - the equivalent of our rulers today -
are (even) more rebellious against the laws of Islam than those who
refused the zakat tax, or the Kharijis, or those from the people of
(the town) al Taif who refused to abandon usury.31


Faraj also borrows one of Ibn Taymiyya's rhetorical devices to
ensure that the obligation for revolution is clear. When Ibn
Taymiyya had to persuade Muslims to attack the Mongols, he portrayed
them as Kharijis, an early deviant sect of Islam.32 There was wide
justification among early Muslims to fight the Kharijis. Faraj
improves on the device when he explains that the leaders of Egypt
are "more rebellious against the laws of Islam than the Kharijis."

Proving Abu Hanifa's second point, that there is "no safety for the
Muslim inhabitants" was seemingly supported by the evidence. Faraj
and his compatriots had been hounded by the security services, the
Muslim Brotherhood had been put in jail since the 1940s, and the
last two decades had witnessed a wave of arrests and executions of
Muslims who, by Faraj's definition, were merely trying to call to
Islam.

The third point, the proximity to dar al kufr, was proved by a
widespread belief that Israel's existence was a strategic as well as
a religious threat. For instance, the Muslim Brotherhood had always
crafted their opposition to Israel in both spiritual and strategic
terms, arguing that Egypt would be the next target of Jewish
colonization.33

It is interesting to note that Sadat's assassin, Al Jihad member
Khalid Islambouli, later testified "I did what I did, because the
sharia was not applied, because of the peace treaty with the Jews
and because of the arrest of Muslim umma without justification."34
These three points match exactly with the three criteria of an un-
Islamic state presented in The Neglected Duty.

After proving that the existing state was un-Islamic, Faraj turned
to questions of the near enemy versus the far enemy. Faraj conceded
the importance of attacking Israel, but argued that such an attack
must be subjected to strategic considerations. Faraj maintained
that "fighting has to be done (only) under the banner of Islam and
under Islamic Leadership."35 Getting this Islamic leadership
required a confrontation first and above all with the jahiliyya
state. Once the near enemy had fallen, the new state would become an
entity that could face Israel on equal terms. In Faraj's words, "to
fight an enemy who is near is more important than to fight an enemy
who is far."36 He expanded on his critique:

The basis of the existence of Imperialism in the Lands of Islam
(Israel) are (precisely) these Rulers. To begin by putting an end to
imperialism (destroying Israel) is not a laudatory and useful act.
It is only a waste of time. We must concentrate on our own Islamic
situation: we have to establish the Rule of God's Religion in our
own country first, and make the Word of God supreme . There is no
doubt that the first battlefield for jihad is the extermination of
these infidel leaders and to replace them by a complete Islamic
Order. From here we should start.37

Faraj also critiqued earlier attempts at gaining state control. He
rebuffed Mustapha circuitously by saying "there are some who say
that the true road to the establishment of an Islamic state is
hijrah, emigration, to another locality and to establish the (new
Islamic) State out there."38 However, Faraj rejects Mustapha's
underlying contention that one cannot be a Muslim in a non-Muslim
state by again citing Ibn Taymiyya, who had argued that it was
possible to live among non Muslims, even under a non-Muslim ruler.39

Faraj's strategies had similarities to those of Saleh Siriyya, and
members of Al Jihad later testified that they saw themselves as part
of an ideological line that began with Siriyya's Military Technical
Academy Group.40 Yet there were also important strategic
divergences. Whereas Siriyya believed in a coup d'etat that would
deliberately minimize any role for the population, Faraj believed
that his targeted assassination would spark a popular revolution.
Because he believed that the "silent majority" of Egyptians
supported him, Faraj saw his task ending with the removal of the
apostate ruler. The population would do the rest. As he wrote, "when
the Rule of the Infidel has fallen everything will be in the hands
of the Muslims, whereupon the downfall of the Islamic State will be
inconceivable."41 The 1979 Iranian revolution likely proved to Faraj
that the Muslim masses were sufficiently Islamic and only needed
something to waken them. The success of that event also provided
Faraj with a reasonable explanation why Siriyya's strategy of
ignoring the population led to failure.42


Gamaa Islamiyya and Operationalizing the Hisba


Al Jihad split following their assassination of Egyptian president
Anwar Sadat in October 1981. Abbud al Zumur, an imprisoned leader of
Al Jihad, questioned the legitimacy of Omar Abdel Rahman's
leadership.43 Zumur and his partisans, led by Ayman al Zawahiri,
argued that because the leader had a duty to participate in jihad he
could not be blind. Rahman and his supporters, led by Talat Fouad
Qasim, countered that the leader could not be in prison. This
preempted Zumur's bid to take over the group in Rahman's stead.44
These differences eventually caused the Al Jihad-IG alliance to
fracture. Zumur headed Al Jihad whereas Rahman and Qasim led the
IG.45

To understand the IG, it is necessary to more closely consider the
career and thought of its self- described "spiritual mentor," Omar
Abdel Rahman.46 Blinded by diabetes at 10 months, Rahman memorized a
Braille Quran by age 11.47 He graduated from the faculty of theology
at al Azhar in 1965 and began teaching. He strictly interpreted
Islamic custom, reportedly refusing to hear questions from female
students unless they used male classmates as intermediaries.48 A
friend recalled that the 1967 defeat by Israel profoundly affected
Rahman. "He had always been vastly intelligent and vastly
ambitions," the friend recalled, "now he was vastly radicalized."49
Rahman was first arrested in 1970 when he issued a fatwa forbidding
Muslims to pray on the grave of Nasser. Upon his release in 1974 he
had to defend his 2000-page dissertation secretly before three
sympathetic members of al Azhar.50

Rahman's testimony at the Sadat trial was subsequently published as
Kalimat al Haqq (A Word of Truth). The title itself challenges the
regime by echoing the hadith (prophetic saying), "the greatest jihad
is to speak a word of truth to a tyrant." Part of Kalimat al Haqq is
distilled in Rahman's book, The Present Rulers and Islam: Are they
Muslims or Not? which was released after the trial. He begins by
outlining four types of ruler, the just Muslim, the oppressive
Muslim, the heretical Muslim, and the non-Muslim. A Muslim's
obligation under a heretical Muslim ruler is to only "render unto
them their due and ask Allah for what is due to you".51 For the non-
Muslim ruler, the obligation is revolt and overthrow. Muslims "have
a right to rebel against every unjust and despotic ruler." 52

Strategically, Rahman stressed the primacy of attacking the near
enemy. He argues that:

Israel is a state, and a state can only be fought by a state a
confrontation with those who are dealing with Israel is a
prerequisite to a confrontation with Israel itself . If we in al
Jihad are going to fight Israel from Egypt, with Egypt being in the
state of capitulation in which it is in, our government would not
help us. It would turn us over to the Jews in accordance with the
Camp David Agreement 53


Another source of IG ideology is the group's Charter for Islamic
Action, written by three imprisoned IG scholars. The authors, Najeh
Ibrahim, Asim Abdul Majid, and Essam ud Deen Darbalah, were all
given life sentences for the assassination of Sadat. The book
itself, although published by these three, was "supervised and
checked" by Rahman.

The authors conclude, "we are undoubtedly obliged to fight jihad
today."54 Nodding to Faraj, the authors argue "it is jihad by which
Muslims try their best to avoid these days. One (Faraj) was quite
right to entitle it 'The Forgotten Obligation' (another translation
of The Neglected Duty)."55 Also like Faraj and Rahman, the authors
argue that jihad against the near enemy is more important than jihad
against the far. "Jihad," according to the authors, "is the means by
which we can establish the Caliphate after having removed the
disbelieving rulers who have replaced the law of Allah by man-made
laws. Besides, it is the only way to regain our lands which have
been taken away from us."56

With strategic priorities established, the IG began to theorize how
to gain control of the state. The IG modeled their strategy on the
Islamic concept of the hisba, which loosely means the promotion of
virtue and the suppression of vice, moral policing.57 The IG
believed that this approach would change, physically if necessary,
the popular attitude toward religion and slowly Islamize society. A
coup was rejected in favor of a strategy that cultivated a mass
uprising at some later point. As Rahman explained, "We must invite
people to the way of God with wisdom and good preaching."58 He later
bragged about how his group had "put a great effort to let people
know better their religion."59

By the mid-1980's the IG had begun to operationalize their concept
of the hisba by beating nightclub owners, sabotaging truck drivers
who shipped alcohol, torching video stores, and generally
intimidating those who did not keep the IG's strict mores. They also
believed this strategy would have a beneficial side-effect of
provoking government repression, further alienating the government
from its citizens. But the group's violence backfired. The
government confronted the group and arrested Omar Abdel Rahman in
1989.

The unexpectedly strong regime response and the IG's continuing
failure to galvanize support among the broader Egyptian population
prompted the IG to modify their approach. In a statement "Vengeance:
Bullets for Bullets," Talat Fouad Qasim, the IG's chief strategist,
singled out the targeting of investment in Egypt as an intermediary
step to the overthrow of the regime.60 This would allow the IG to
shift the center of gravity away from costly head-on conflicts with
the security forces to soft targets, especially tourism. Qasim
articulated this idea in a 1993 interview, arguing that "hitting
tourism would weaken Egypt's economy and therefore facilitate its
replacement with an Islamic system."61 The IG hoped that the loss of
the all-important tourism revenue (nearly $2.03 billion in 1992,
around 7% of GDP) would quickly lead to financial ruin and state
collapse.62

Rahman also played a key role in the tourist campaign. After his
release Rahman traveled to the United States (reportedly with the
assistance of the CIA) and in July of 1980 he settled in Brooklyn.63
He shipped tapes back to Egypt urging confrontation. One such tape
justified the attacks by saying "to those lamenting what has
happened to tourism, I say it is sinful the lands of Muslims will
not become bordellos for sinners of every race and color."64 Rahman
later explained the point of the attacks: "tourists are not being
attacked but tourism is the goal of these attacks is to put
pressure on the Egyptian regime."65

The IG's new campaign was dreadfully successful. 1990 saw a reported
51 confrontations between Islamists and security services with 115
killed.66 In November 1992 a Western reporter based in Cairo
reported that "not since the troubled months of 1981 has the
defiance been so open- and so violent- in both word and deed."67 In
the 18 months between April 1992 and October 1993 over 220
terrorists, security officers, and tourists were killed in
clashes.68 During the first 10 months of 1995, human rights
organizations reported that over 300 people were killed during
fighting in Upper Egypt, an IG stronghold.69


Al Jihad and the Legacy of Siriyya

In contrast to IG's initial attempts to spur a popular revolution,
Al Jihad's military background and secrecy attracted those wanting a
quick, violent change at the top. A militant described his decision
to join Al Jihad rather than IG as follows: "I would much rather be
under the command of a military officer (al Zumur) who fought in the
1967 and 1973 wars. He knows how to change the political regime by
force."70 But Al Jihad's leader, the imprisoned Abbud al Zumur, was
forced to operate through a deputy outside the prison. The deputy,
Majdi Salem reportedly did not command the respect of members and by
1987 had lost his grip on the organization.71 Ready to take control
was Ayman al Zawahiri.

Ayman al Zawahiri was born on 1 June 1951 in Cairo and received his
Master's degree in surgery from University of Cairo in 1974. A year
later he was leading a militant cell.72 That particular group was
begun in 1958 by one of Sayyid Qutb's students.73 Zawahiri held Qutb
in great esteem as the first to visualize a confrontation between
Islam and unbelief inside Muslim countries. About Qutb's secret
group (which was a key reason for Qutb's death sentence), Zawahiri
said:

The meaning of this plan (overthrow of the government) was more
important than its material strength. The meaning was that the
Islamic movement had begun a war against the regime in its capacity
as an enemy of Islam. Before that, the Islamic movement's ethics and
principles - and in which some believe until now - affirmed that the
external enemy was the only enemy of Islam. 74


Zawahiri's experience with failed militant groups instilled a desire
for secrecy and an almost obsessive approach to planning and
training. For instance, when Zawahiri dissected Siriyya's failed
1974 coup attempt, he concluded that the group did not consider the
difficulty of the situation. In particular, the young men who
stormed the academy had insufficient training.75 Zawahiri also
argued that Al Jihad's hastily conceived plan to assassinate sadat
and Spark a popular uprising (which he, as a member of Al Jihad's
leadership, objected to) was "doomed to fail" because it was:

[A]n 'emotional' uprising that was poorly planned. The rebellion
occurred two days after the assassination of Al-Sadat and was based
on an unrealistic plan to seize Asyut and then advance northward
toward Cairo, disregarding any figures about the enemy's strength
and materiel . Thus the 1401 Hegira (1981) uprising ended with a
fundamental gain - the killing of Al-Sadat. The attempts that
followed it were not successful because of poor planning and
insufficient preparation.76

But Zawahiri also took something else from Faraj's strategies. As
will be recalled, Faraj believed that the population would rush to
support an Islamic state after the removal of an apostate ruler. But
this idealistic approach had failed, likely proving to Zawahiri that
it was in fact Siriyya who had been correct to try and minimize any
role for larger society. Al Jihad's experience in 1981 had shown
that the population could not be relied on.

This distrust of society and obsession with secrecy and planning
manifested itself in Zawahiri's desire to utilize a specially
trained and elite vanguard.77 In his interrogations Zawahiri
responded to the question "How would you replace the current
government with an Islamic one?" by arguing that his group would
take power "through a military coup."78 As this view matured, it
would become a major point of disagreement with the more broad-
based, popular revolution strategy of the IG.

Yet Zawahiri demonstrated a serious, tactical mind when he rejected
the IG's strategy of provocation after considering Egypt's
geography. He wrote:

The problem of finding a secure base for jihad activity in Egypt
used to occupy me a lot, in view of the pursuits to which we were
subjected by the security forces and because of Egypt's flat terrain
which made government control easy, for the River Nile runs in its
narrow valley between two deserts that have no vegetation or water.
Such a terrain made guerrilla warfare in Egypt impossible.79

The relationship between IG and Al Jihad further deteriorated over
more mundane concerns. Following his release in 1984 Zawahiri left
for Peshawar, an outpost of the burgeoning Afghan jihad. He was soon
joined there by an IG delegation headed by Mohammed al Islambouli,
the brother of Sadat's assassin. Eventually the groups clashed when
the IG accused Zawahiri of stealing money meant for the mujahidin.
Some relief agencies decided to cut Zawahiri off and switch their
funding to IG, triggering a war of takfir between the groups.80

But most serious for Zawahiri was Al Jihad's inability to produce
results in Egypt. While Zawahiri and the Al Jihad leadership were in
Pakistan or scattered throughout Europe, the IG was in the heat of a
guerilla campaign in Egypt. Increasing IG attacks there were envied
by Al Jihad cadres and created restlessness as many in the
organization began pressuring Zawahiri get into the fight. A key Al
Jihad lieutenant later testified that in 1991 Zawahiri gave him
orders to return to Egypt and revive Al Jihad because they were
being overshadowed by the resurgent IG.81

The IG's higher profile and the edge it provided in money, material,
and ideological support forced Zawahiri to abandon his traditional
concerns for full preparation and operational security. He also had
to jettison grandiose schemes to decapitate the regime in one
knockout blow in favor of doing something, no matter how
ineffective, to make people remember that Al Jihad was still active.
In the early 1990s Zawahiri formulated this new strategy, which he
dubbed "the flea and the dog." According to Zawahiri, his group
would cling to the regime like a flea clings to a dog and, through a
series of small yet painful attacks, bring it down.82 Interestingly
this could be one of the first interactions between western
strategic thought and jihadist strategic thought of the type
outlined by Lia and Hegghammer in 2004. In 1965 Robert Taber
analyzed the effectiveness of a guerilla campaign in his seminal
work The War of the Flea. It is unknown if Zawahiri had read this
book, but it has appeared in Arabic translations on jihadist
Internet message boards, and the similarities in language are
remarkable.83 As Taber wrote:

The guerrilla fights the war of the flea, and his military enemy
suffers the dog's disadvantages: too much to defend; too small,
ubiquitous, and agile an enemy to come to grips with. If the war
continues long enough - this is the theory - the dog succumbs to
exhaustion and anemia without ever having found anything on which to
close its jaws or to rake with its claws.84

This new strategy of up-tempo confrontation with the regime caused
strife in Al Jihad. Zawahiri had to this point focused on
meticulously regenerating decimated Al Jihad cadres and planning a
single strike that would allow him to assume control of the
government. But Zawahiri's decision to launch an immediate guerilla
war to wear down the regime came as a surprise to the cadres. It
also implied that Al Jihad's tactics had failed and that the IG's
ideal of a long-term guerilla war held more promise.

But importantly Zawahiri only made tactical concessions. He remained
focused on the Egyptian government, although his method had changed
from coup to popular revolution. Throughout the 1990s he continued
to justify the jihad against Egypt. In The Bitter Harvest: The
Muslim Brotherhood after Sixty Years, which circulated widely in
Peshawar in the early 1990s, Zawahiri argued that one of the Muslim
Brotherhood's many failings had been its willingness to fight in
Palestine (1948) rather than Egypt.85 In 1993 Zawahiri stated "our
primary objective is to establish an Islamic State the state will
propagate the faith of the one God: liberate Muslim territories,
notably Jerusalem."86 In April 1995 he argued in an article in al
Mujahidun magazine entitled "The Road to Jerusalem passes through
Cairo," which argued that "Jerusalem will not be opened until the
battles in Egypt and Algeria have been won and until Cairo has been
opened."87 That same year he argued that the most dangerous threat
to the Muslims was "the apostate rulers who are ruling the Muslim
lands."88 In a statement circulated a year later Zawahiri justified
a continuing battle against Egypt based on the Quran 9:123: O you
who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and
let them find in you hardness.89 He retained this focus despite
being pressured during this time to attack Israel. Fathi al Shaqaqi,
the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, reportedly made a strong
push to try and convince Zawahiri of the necessity to focus on the
far enemy.90

But the tactical shift only exacerbated Al Jihad's problems. The
November 1993 inauguration of the "flea and the dog," an attempt to
kill Egyptian Prime Minister Sidki, unintentionally killed the 12-
year-old school girl Shayma Mohammed Abdel Halim. This was a heavy
blow to an Egyptian public worn down by decades of low-intensity
conflict, and led to a precipitous drop in already poor levels of
public support for Zawahiri's aims. As Zawahiri explained, "the
government used the death of Shayma, may God bless her soul, and
portrayed the incident as an attack by the al Jihad group against
Shayma, not against Prime Minister Sidki."91

The situation for Zawahiri worsened in the mid-1990s as the IG began
to contemplate a ceasefire. After the death of Shayma and the
failure of their hisba strategy the IG concluded that they had lost
the population, and with it any chance for a military victory. In
1997 the IG unveiled an initiative to end their attacks, to which
the Egyptian government responded positively. The IG's decision had
the support of the imprisoned leadership of the IG, including the
authors of the IG's Charter for Islamic Action, analyzed earlier.92
Zawahiri responded with a mixture of incredulity and fury. In a 4
October 1998 letter to the IG leadership Zawahiri wrote that "this
initiative has undoubtedly shaken the image of the captive leaders
in the eyes of the youth and shocked them hard. It represents a
severe loss for the jihad movement as a whole."93

Although the deal gained widespread support among Islamists both in
Egypt and abroad it did not go unchallenged. On 17 November 1997 a
squad of heavily armed terrorists attacked tourists visiting one of
Egypt's best known archaeological sites. They bombed, shot, and
stabbed 62 tourists to death, including a 5-year-old girl. Leaflets
stuffed inside the bodies claimed, in the name of IG, that the
attack was in revenge for the imprisonment of Omar Abdel Rahman in
the United States. However, it now appears that the massacre was
orchestrated by Rifai Ahmed Taha, the dissident IG leader who used
the attack to try and sabotage the cease-fire.94 Whereas the killing
of Shayma delegitimized jihad groups, Luxor broke them.

In the wake of the Shayma debacle and the Luxor massacre key members
of Al Jihad left, the group lost money, and the bottom had dropped
out of its support among Egyptians. In addition, the IG had publicly
presented a cease-fire, leaving Al Jihad stranded on the field of
battle. Under this pressure, Zawahiri had to take drastic measures
to revitalize the organization. He had to make a strategic change.


The Near Enemy Revisited: Al Qaeda and the
Debate over Attacking the
West

In February 1998 bin Laden and Zawahiri unveiled the "World Islamic
Front Against the Jews and Crusaders." Their explicit call to
abandon the struggle against the near enemy and target the West was
an unprecedented strategic innovation among jihadist groups. This
public and complete break with the near enemy strategy articulated
in Faraj's The Neglected Duty nearly two decades earlier shocked the
jihadist community. But the decision to target the West was not an
ex-nihilo development. It was a product of the convergence of
powerful new ideological currents and rational calculations based on
three decades of failed strategy against the near enemy.

The roots of the 1998 fatwa lay in the Afghan jihad. The Soviet
Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan spurred thousands of young
Muslims to travel to the region and defend their fellow Muslims. The
key figure in the Afghan jihad was Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian
professor, Muslim Brotherhood activist, and distinguished Islamist
theorist.95 Azzam created the Maktab al Khidemat (MAK), or Services
Office, to "gather the Arabs and send them inside Afghanistan to
save them from the political games of the Afghans."96 Azzam handled
the administrative duties and was assisted with funding by a wealth
Saudi named Osama bin Laden.97 Bin Laden reportedly swore loyalty to
Azzam in April 1986 before the "Jawar" operation and the men fought
side by side in the battles at Paktia (1987) and Jalalabad (1989).98
Azzam's dedication and bin Laden's funding was a powerful
combination. The MAK grew exponentially, eventually boasting offices
all over the world, including in the United States.99

Strategically, Azzam did not believe conditions necessitated
attacking existing Muslim states, and ridiculed those in Afghanistan
promoting revolutionary violence against the "near enemy."100 Azzam
believed it was more important to reclaim once-Muslim lands, such as
al Andalus (Spain), and it was of paramount importance to reclaim
Palestine. Liberating Palestine should be the "primary issue on the
mind of every Muslim."101 Yet Azzam argued that strategy dictated
jihad first and foremost in Afghanistan:

It is our opinion that we should begin with Afghanistan before
Palestine, not because Afghanistan is more important than Palestine,
not at all, Palestine is the foremost Islamic problem. It is the
heart of the Islamic world, and it is a blessed land but, there are
some reasons which make Afghanistan the starting point.102

Afghanistan took priority for the ease with which mujahidin could
enter, the presence of an ongoing jihad there, and the necessity of
helping the mujahidin. A successful jihad in Afghanistan would also
culminate in an Islamic state able to confront Israel and regain
lost Muslim lands.

When the Soviets announced their withdrawal in April 1988 Azzam's
magazine argued for the jihad to turn to Palestine.103 But another
current had surfaced during the Afghan jihad that challenged Azzam
and sought to divert the jihad toward apostate regimes in the Muslim
world. Chief among these currents were the Egyptian groups, in
particular Al Jihad and IG.

In 1988 Omar Abdel Rahman visited Peshawar, staying at the house of
Mohammed al Islambouli, a leading IG figure as well as the brother
of Sadat's assassin.104 Although he did not take part in the
fighting, Rahman was quite active in inter-jihad polemics. He
repeatedly clashed with Azzam over questions of attacking Muslim
rulers. Specifically, while Azzam admired Pakistani President Zia ul
Haq and defended Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Rahman argued
that they were apostates.105 Rahman also reportedly had the leader
of the MAK's offices in Brooklyn killed for refusing to redirect the
MAK's money from the campaign in Afghanistan to the fight in
Egypt.106

Al Jihad's Ayman al Zawahiri also schemed against Azzam. From the
moment Zawahiri arrived in Afghanistan (around 1986) he made it a
point to avoid Azzam.107 Zawahiri reportedly told Muslims not to
pray with Azzam.108 Reportedly a few days before Azzam's November
1989 death in Peshawar, Zawahiri began spreading rumors that Azzam
was an American agent.109

Yet Zawahiri's reputation among the mujahidin seems to have been
less than sterling. Azzam's son argued that "we didn't count
Zawahiri as a mujahid. He was just sitting in Peshawar trying to
recruit people to fight against Egypt."110 Likewise bin Laden's
personal "legal ideologue" later explained that Al Jihad "had no
roots in the jihad battlefield, all along the Afghan jihad era, and
up to the fall of Kabul this group was not known for its
participation in training camps or leadership of operations in the
circles of the jihad youth."111

Although relations between bin Laden and Azzam were amicable, there
were certain points of contention. Bin Laden at times became
frustrated by the infighting and petty corruption of the MAK.112 A
particular problem was Azzam's reported practice of staffing the MAK
with his relatives.113 Capitalizing on these disagreements was Ayman
al Zawahiri, who in 1986 introduced himself to bin Laden in a
Peshawar mosque.114

At the time of their meeting, Zawahiri was tightening his grip on Al
Jihad while fighting a losing battle with the resurgent IG for
notoriety, resources, and men. Yet in the wealthy Saudi, Zawahiri
saw a chance to revitalize his own struggle against Egypt and
rejuvenate the group. Zawahiri began surrounding bin Laden with
lieutenants from Al Jihad. One of the first Saudis to visit
Afghanistan recalled, "during the jihad, Bin Laden's gatherings
teemed with young men from the city of Medina. This situation
changed after the end of (the Afghan) Jihad (1989) because the
Egyptians became prominent in his gatherings."115 Among the
Egyptians were Al Qaeda's eventual third-in-command Abu Hafs al
Masri and the group's spokesman, Saif al Adel.116 Those members
sought to redirect bin Laden's resources to their struggle.117
According to Noman Benotman, a veteran Libyan Arab Afghan, during
the late 1980s and early 1990s bin Laden was under pressure from the
Egyptians for being "soft" and not interested in toppling apostate
rulers.118 Arabs surrounding bin Laden repeatedly prodded him to
break with Azzam, telling him "you shouldn't be staying with
Abdullah Azzam. He doesn't do anything about the regimes - Saudi,
Egyptian, Algerian. He's just talking about Afghanistan."119 This
approach, however, clashed with Al Qaeda's (and Azzam's) initial
purpose to liberate or defend occupied Muslim lands rather than
depose nominally Muslim rulers. L'Houssaine Khertchou, an early
member of Al Qaeda, testified that when he joined Al Qaeda there was
no mention of fighting the United States: "When I took the bayat (in
1991) (it) was to fight in Afghanistan and it was against
communism."120 Jamal al Fadl, another Al Qaeda member, testified
that even after the Russians left Afghanistan bin Laden was still
thinking about establishing a Muslim government there.121 Three Al
Qaeda sources even report that bin Laden originally established Al
Qaeda to focus on Yemen and turn it into another Afghanistan.122

But under pressure from the Egyptians, and in concert with the
continuing American military presence in Saudi Arabia (and the
complicity of Saudi government) bin Laden's strategy began to shift.
As the 1990s progressed bin Laden began to focus less on the Saudi
regime and more on various international bodies such as the UN and
NATO.123 In August 1995 bin Laden argued that the situation in
Bosnia exposed existing Muslim governments as "mere tools in the
hands of the great and powerful crusaders."124 Bin Laden offered a
hint to his future plans in an interview the next summer when he
told British correspondent Robert Fisk, "the Saudis now know their
real enemy is America."125

On 23 August 1996 bin Laden released his fatwa "A Declaration of
Jihad against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy
Sanctuaries (Expel the Infidels from the Arabian Peninsula)." This
document summarizes the criticisms of the al Saud regime and
justifies defensive jihad against the American forces for their
occupation of Saudi Arabia. Although the subtitle of this document
suggests limiting attacks against U.S. targets to the Arabian
Peninsula, certain sections began to lay out the explicit far enemy
strategy of the 1998 fatwa. According to bin Laden:

The situation can not be rectified (the shadow cannot be straighten
when its' source, the rod, is not straight either) unless the root
of the problem is tackled. Hence it is essential to hit the main
enemy who divided the umma into small and little countries and
pushed it, for the last few decades, into a state of confusion.126


In a 1996 interview bin Laden provided more clues to his goals and
how he hoped to accomplish them. Bin Laden framed the possibility of
a rebellion in Saudi Arabia in the context of an attack on the
American presence, but noted that "its most important goal would be
to change the current regime."127 In a March 1997 interview bin
Laden returned to some of the more "globalized" points he made in
the 1996 fatwa. As he explained, "our main problem is the U.S.
government while the Saudi regime is but a branch or an agent of the
U.S."128

On 23 February 1998 bin Laden unveiled his "World Islamic Front
Against the Jews and Crusaders," a combination fatwa/umbrella group
dedicated to fighting the "far enemy" Americans and Jews instead of
the "near enemy" regimes in the Muslim world. The document itself is
rather short and the key point is summarized in one sentence:

To kill the American and their allies - civilians and military - is
an individual duty incumbent on every Muslim in all countries, in
order to liberate the al Aqsa mosque (in Jerusalem) and the Holy
Mosque from their grip, so that their armies leave all the territory
of Islam, defeated, broken, and unable to threaten any Muslim.129


In addition to bin Laden, the 1998 fatwa was signed by Ayman al
Zawahiri of Al Jihad, Rifai Ahmed Taha of IG, as well as other
leaders of smaller terrorist groups from the Indian subcontinent.

Bin Laden's decision to abandon the struggle against the al Saud
regime in favor of attacks on the United States was almost a purely
strategic decision. Although the Saudis had weathered bin Laden's
storm throughout the 1990s, he was left without citizenship and
barely a state that would take him, frozen assets, and a price on
his head. The head-on conflict with the Saudi regime was too costly.
Instead, bin Laden decided that in a time of limited resources, it
would be better to coordinate and direct strikes where they would
have the most effect. That his Egyptian colleagues had been
similarly unsuccessful in their jihad against Egypt likely
buttressed bin Laden's argument. An Al Jihad lieutenant testified in
a 1999 trial that:

Osama Bin Laden said that the organization's (al Jihad) activities
were too costly because militants had to change hideouts
continuously. He also argued that attacks being carried out in Egypt
were costing too much money and too many militant lives and called
on both the country's main Islamic groups to "turn their guns" on
the U.S. and Israel.130

Another Al Jihad member in the same trial made a similar
point: "Experience has shown that action inside Egypt is extremely
costly and that efforts will be directed against U.S. and Israeli
interests and installations, in the Arab states and elsewhere."131
In response to a question from one of his followers who again asked
why Al Qaeda could not attack Muslim regimes bin Laden answered,
somewhat exasperatedly:

Once again, I have to stress the necessity of focusing on the
Americans and the Jews for they represent the spearhead with which
the members of our religion have been slaughtered. Any effort
directed against America and the Jews yields positive and direct
results - Allah willing. It is far better for anyone to kill a
single American soldier than to squander his efforts on other
activities.132


More concretely, others were ambivalent at best about precipitating
a confrontation with such a militarily superior opponent. Upon
hearing that America was now a target many were incredulous. As one
remarked "America knows everything about us. It knows even the label
of our underwear!"133

Even within Al Qaeda's leadership opinion was divided over the
utility of widening the jihad to include the West. Some argued that
the jihad needed to respect geographic boundaries. The battle for
Palestine should, for instance, only occur within Palestine. Failure
to do so could jeopardize international support and sympathy for Al
Qaeda's goals. Broadening the jihad could even unify public support
behind Western governments who wished to destroy Al Qaeda.134

A June 2000 letter from an Al Qaeda member reveals some of the
internal dynamics of the near enemy-far enemy debate:

Everything is subject to negotiations except (the infallible
sharia), and consequently, the Movement came up with a strategy that
identifies the original non-believing enemy (the far enemy) whereas
it focused in the past on renegade non-believers (the near enemy)
who they considered as more dangerous than the original non-
believing enemy and thus, from the sharia point of view, fighting
them is more obligatory than the original non- believing enemy. We
support this trend in public thinking and discussing ideas in the
open and in a healthy environment away from any psychological
pressure practiced by some groups in their Movement.135


Bin Laden developed a high-pressure sales pitch to bring people
around to his strategy. Although he later became bin Laden's
personal bodyguard, Abu Jandal initially opposed global jihad. Once
he arrived in bin Laden's camp he was subjected to a "hard sell" on
the idea of attacking the United States. Abu Jandal
recalled, "during those three days, he (Bin Laden) was waging a kind
of a media campaign directed at us, in an attempt to convince us of
the justification for his call for jihad against America."136

Even the training methods bin Laden utilized in his camps were
crafted to maximize his message of jihad against the United States.
Abu Jandal recalled the scene in the Al Qaeda camps:

While training on hitting marks or targets, all the targets were in
U.S. uniform. The names of the targets were American. The
instructions were: hit the U.S. soldier or officer; blow up the U.S.
vehicle. When the target was hit, it would be announced that someone
hit the U.S. soldier or target. Thus, the United States and all that
was American occupied our mind. It was an issue that engaged the
minds of the al Qaeda youths who train in military camps. Indeed,
hitting American targets became a dream of everyone in the
Organization.137


This was the same trick that bin Laden had deployed when he targeted
the Saudi regime. According to Abu Musab al Suri, a prominent
jihadist theoretician, at early Al Qaeda camps "fighters were
trained to shoot at (pictures of Saudi King) Fahd and senior Saudi
princes' pictures."138

In Al Jihad the decision to shift strategies was similarly
contested. Zawahiri calculated that the alliance with bin Laden and
the shift to the far enemy would unify the broken strands of the
jihad movement. As he wrote in his memoirs:

The one slogan that has been well understood by the nation and to
which it has been responding for the past 50 years is the call for
the jihad against Israel. In addition to this slogan, the nation in
this decade is geared against the U.S. presence. It has responded
favorably to the call for the jihad against the Americans.139


But Zawahiri's cadres did not agree, and Zawahiri's insistence on
supporting bin Laden and the strategic shift caused widespread
strife in the organization. Zawahiri reportedly never consulted with
the Al Jihad shura council before signing the fatwa, and much of the
group learned about the merger after reading about it in newspapers
or hearing about it on T.V.140 Members were distressed that Zawahiri
had suddenly and comprehensively rebuked the organization's long-
standing near enemy strategy. According to an Al Jihad member:

The (1998) fatwa to kill the Americans contravenes the principles of
Islamic sharia. It also contravenes the strategy and principles of
the Jihad Organization, which believes that it is more appropriate
to fight the ruler than to fight a faraway enemy, like Zionism and
imperialism.141


Others in the organization were upset with Zawahiri's increasingly
dictatorial control over the organization. In 1998 Al Jihad members
complained to Zawahiri that "management methods have led to the
departure of some brothers from the company and nearly led to the
temptation of others."142

Zawahiri also calculated that an alliance with bin Laden would
provide steady funding for his cadres. Zawahiri wrote, in a clumsily
coded message:

The situation down in the 'village' (Egypt) is getting bad for
merchants. Our relatives, the al Saidiyah (Upper Egyptians, meaning
the IG), have left the market (signed a truce) while we are
suffering from the international monopoly companies (arrests and
persecution from U.S. and other international forces) (the merger
with bin Laden) could be a way out of the bottleneck in which we
have been choking, thus enabling us to move the business activity to
the stage of multinational corporations and mutual profit.143


But many were worried about bin Laden, and Zawahiri faced resistance
from his cell leader, who argued (keeping with the code)
that: "these are not profits, they are only a compound of
losses."144 A Yemeni-based Al Jihad operative warned Zawahiri to be
careful with bin Laden because he had "a black history and a dark
past (and) could not be trusted."145 Zawahiri seemed to concede that
Bin Laden had reneged on some promises but he countered "if the
contractor (bin Laden) has promised us many things in the past and
not done them, then now the man has changed. We sense this here."146

But it appears that the alliance did not deliver the financial
support Zawahiri hoped. In early 1998 a veteran Al Jihad member
defected, angry over the constant financial troubles of the
group.147 An e-mail exchange with operatives in Yemen revealed that
by early 1999 the financial situation had not improved. Al Zawahiri
angrily objected to superfluous expenditures and requested
additional documentation and explanations. The operative shot
back "the first step for me to implement in taking your advice is to
resign."148

A closer analysis of Al Jihad's financial situation also appears to
challenge some of the conventional wisdom about the relationship
between Zawahiri and bin Laden. Zawahiri is usually believed to have
played a key role in first turning bin Laden from a financier to a
fighter then focusing bin Laden on the far enemy.149 Yet there is
evidence that bin Laden took advantage of Ayman al Zawahiri's
financial situation to exert his influence and control over the
still-formidable Al Jihad cadres. When Zawahiri was captured in
Russia in 1996, bin Laden was upset and, as a consequence, reduced
Al Jihad's monthly allowance to $5,000. This increased the strain on
Zawahiri's finances and forced him to submit to stricter controls on
Al Jihad's activities.150 Jihadists interviewed by Fawaz Gerges
ascribed Zawahiri's shift in ideology to Al Jihad's increasing
financial dependence on bin Laden, as well as bin Laden's overall
influence.151

The decision to target the far enemy also encountered stiff
resistance from jihadists throughout the Middle East. IG member
Rifai Ahmed Taha's involvement in the 1998 Front (he signed on
behalf of the IG) revealed many of the disagreements about the
strategic shift to the far enemy. Like Zawahiri, Taha reportedly
signed the fatwa without consulting the IG leadership, who later
forced Taha to retract his statement.152 In July 1998 he released
that statement, which clearly enunciated the IG's stance against
attacking Americans.153 The IG's historic (prison) leadership soon
issued their own statement, in which they expressed their "full
support for the stance of our brothers abroad in distancing
ourselves from the anti- American front."154

Abu Hamza al Masri, the notorious erstwhile preacher of London's
Finsbury Park mosque, argued against the turn to the far enemy in a
lecture series, "Liberate Makkah before Palestine."155 Abu Muhammed
al Maqdisi, who was recently found by a West Point study to be the
most influential living jihadist, steadfastly advocated toppling the
local Muslim regimes rather than attacking Israel or the United
States.156 Maqdisi has written at least two books on the
insufficiently Islamic governments of Saudi Arabia (Clear Evidence
on the Infidel Nature of the Saudi State) and Jordan (Unveiling the
Falsehood in the Provisions of the Constitution). He argued, around
the time of the 1998 fatwa, that

Jihad against the enemies of Allah who substitute His sharia and are
overpowering the ummah today, is one of the most important
obligations that should take the interest of the Muslims. In fact,
in my opinion, it is more important than and given preference over
the Jihad against the Jews who occupy Palestine.157


But despite the criticism bin Laden and Zawahiri pushed on,
determined to break the long- entrenched near enemy strategy and
force the jihadist movement into a confrontation they hoped would
unify the ranks and energize the next generation of fighters.
However as the fallout from the decision to target the United States
began to crush the jihadist movement it looks increasingly likely
that bin Laden and Zawahiri had only succeeded in further fracturing
the movement.


Conclusion

These four debates show that there were serious and sustained
conflicts over strategy inside the jihadist movement in the decades
before 9/11. Although the questions were rudimentary when compared
with their post-9/11 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 as it has 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 birth. 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 prioritize the jihadist threat and mobilize limited
resources to meet it. It can also help in taking preliminary steps
toward understanding the grievances of local actors and preventing
them from being swept up in the global jihad ideology. Finally,
these cases demonstrate that dissention inside broader jihadist
community over the decision to attack the United States.



Acknowledgments
The author specifically thanks Ghassan Schbley, Thomas Hegghammer,
Peter Mandaville, Shaul Bakhash, and the anonymous reviewers for
their comments.

NOTES

1. Among the better known are the 1,600-page opus of Abu Musab al
Suri, Dawat al Muqawama al Islamiyya al Alamiyya (Global Islamic
Resistance Call), (N.P., 2004) and the works by the Saudi theorist
Yusuf al Ayiri, including Mustaqbal al Iraq wa-l Jazirah al Arabiyya
Ba'd Suqut Baghdad (the Future of the Arabian Peninsula After the
Fall of Baghdad), (N.P., 2003), Amrika wal Su'ud ila al Hawiyyah
(America and the Advance Toward the Abyss), (N.P, 2003?), and
Silsilat al-Harb al-Salibiyyah 'ala al-'Iraq (The Continuation of
the Crusader War on Iraq), (N.P., 2002?). Other strategic studies
have been translated into English including Abu Bakar Naji, The
Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the
Umma Will Pass, Trans. William R. McCants (with the support of the
John M. Olin Institute at Harvard University), (N.P., N.D.); and
Muhammad Khalil al Hakayma, The Myth of Delusion, (London: al
Maqreze Center, N.D.). For the best analysis of the flowering of
jihadist strategic thought after Iraq, see Thomas
Hegghammer, "Global Jihadism after the Iraq War," Middle East
Journal 60(1) (Winter 2006). See also the fine journalistic account
of Lawrence Wright, "The Terror Web," The New Yorker, 2 August 2004.


2. Brynjar Lia and Thomas Hegghammer, "Jihadi Strategic Studies: The
Alleged al Qaeda Policy Study Preceding the Madrid Bombings,"
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 27 (2004), pp. 356-357.


3. An important exception to this observation is Abu Musab al Suri,
who has consistently used a secular-rational analysis, including a
reliance on Western strategic thinkers. This is convincingly
demonstrated in Brynjar Lia's important book, Architect of Global
Jihad (London: Hurst, 2007).


4. A key study of the early strategies of the jihadist groups,
including the Military Technical Academy Group, the Society of
Muslims, and al Jihad is Abdel Aziz Ramadan, "Fundamentalist
Influence in Egypt: The Strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood and the
Takfir Groups," in Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds.,
Fundamentalisms and the State: Remaking Polities, Economies, and
Militance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993). Of more
recent vintage are the studies by David Cook (Pragmatic Jihadi
Movements, West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center, 2006), which
examined the historical examples of four early jihadist movements
based on their mentions in al Suri's Dawat al Muqawama al Islamiyya
al Alamiyya (note 1). Fawwaz Gerges' The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went
Global (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005) is also a study
of jihadist strategy before 9/11, yet it is mostly concerned with
the ramifications of Al Qaeda's decision to target the "far enemy,"
in this case the United States, on the global jihadist landscape.
Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
(New York: Knopf, 2006), see especially pp. 37-59, also contains
important details.


5. Charles J. Adams, "Kufr," in John L. Esposito, ed., The Oxford
Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World Volume 2 (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1995), pp. 439-443.


6. Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke, "The Moderate Muslim
Brotherhood," Foreign Affairs (March/April 2007), pp. 108-11.


7. Zainab al Ghazali, Return of the Pharaoh: Memoir in Nasir's
Prison, Trans. Mokrane Guezzou (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation,
1994), p. 29.


8. See, for instance, Sayyid Qutb, Islam and Universal Peace, Trans.
Mahmoud Abu Saud et al. (Indianapolis, IN: American Trust
Publications, 1977), p. 10; Sayyid Qutb, Milestones (Cedar Rapids,
IA: Mother Mosque Foundation, N.D.), p. 25; Sayyid Qutb, In the
Shade of the Quran Vol. VIII (Surah al-Tawbah), Trans. Adil Salahi
(Leicester: The Islamic Foundation & Islamonline.net, 2003), p. 124;
Sayyid Qutb, This Religion of Islam, Trans. "Islamdust" (Palo Alto,
CA: Al Manar Press, 1967), p. 16; Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the
Quran Vol. III (Surah al-Nisa), Trans. Adil Salahi and Ashur Shamis
(Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 2001), pp. 192-193; Sayyid Qutb,
In the Shade of the Quran Vol. IV (Surah al-Maidah), Trans. Adil
Salahi and Ashur Shamis (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation &
Islamonline.net, 2001), p. 237; Sayyid Qutb, This Religion of Islam,
Trans. "Islamdust" (Palo Alto, CA: Al Manar Press, 1967), p. 22. See
also Sayed Khatab "Hakimiyyah and Jahiliyyah in the Thought of
Sayyid Qutb," Middle Eastern Studies 38(3) (July 2002), p. 145 and
Ahmad S. Moussalli, Radical Islamic Fundamentalism: The Ideological
and Political Discourse of Sayyid Qutb (Beirut, Lebanon: American
University of Beirut Press, 1995), p. 151.


9. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "Anatomy of Egypt's Militant Islamic Groups,"
International Journal of Middle East Studies 12(4) (December 1980),
p. 441.


10. According to a quote in the Muslim Brotherhood's official
newspaper al Daw'a, January 1977. Quoted in Hamied N. Ansari, "The
Islamic Militants in Egyptian Politics," International Journal of
Middle East Studies 16(1) (March 1984), p. 140.


11. Hasan al Hudaybi, Du'a la Quda' (Preachers, not Judges) (Cairo:
Dar al Tawzi'a wa al Nashr al Islami, 1977 ed.), p. 52 (in Arabic).
For more on Hasan al Hudaybi, see Barbara Zollner, "Prison Talk: The
Muslim Brotherhood's Internal Struggle During Gamal Abdel Nasser's
Persecution, 1954-1971," International Journal of Middle Eastern
Studies 39 (2007), passim.


12. Nemat Guenena, The Jihad: An Islamic Alternative in Egypt
(Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1986), p. 38. See also
John O. Voll, "Fundamentalism in the Sunni Arab World: Egypt and the
Sudan," in Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby, eds.,
Fundamentalisms Observed (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1991), p. 374.


13. Yusuf al Qaradawi, Islamic Awakening Between Rejection and
Extremism, (Herndon, VA: International Institute of Islamic Thought,
N.D.,), pp. 62-63.


14. Suha Taji- Farouki, A Fundamental Quest: Hizb ut Tahrir and the
Search for the Islamic Caliphate (London: Grey Seal Books, 1996),
pp. 167-168.


15. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "Anatomy of Egypt's Militant Islamic
Groups," International Journal of Middle East Studies 12(4)
(December 1980), p. 425.


16. Suha Taji- Farouki, A Fundamental Quest: Hizb ut Tahrir and the
Search for the Islamic Caliphate (London: Grey Seal Books, 1996), p.
79. This has been confirmed by a former Hizb ut Tahrir member in
Europe.


17. Hasan al-Banna, The Concept of Allah in the Islamic Creed,
Trans. Sharif Ahmad Khan (New Dehli: Adam Publishers, 2000, rev.
ed.), pp. 65-66.


18. Gilles Kepel, Muslim Extremism in Egypt: The Prophet and the
Pharaoh, Trans. Jon Rothschild (Berkeley, CA: University of
California Press, 2003), p. 74 and David Zeidan, "Radical Islam in
Egypt: A Comparison of Two Groups," Middle East Review of
International Affairs 3(3) (September 1999), p. 2.


19. Yet after Mustapha's death a number of jailed members of the
Military Technical Academy Group joined Jamaat al Muslimun. See Saad
Eddin Ibrahim, "Anatomy of Egypt's Militant Islamic Groups,"
International Journal of Middle East Studies 12(4) (December 1980),
p. 436.


20. Aadel Hamoudah, "Al Mouhakamat: Shukri Mustapha Yatahadath 'an
Nafsih" (the Judgment: Shukri Moustafa Speaks About Himself) Ruz al
Yusuf, 18 August 1986 (in Arabic).


21. Ibid.


22. Rajab Madkur, Al Takfir wal Hijra Wajhan Li Wajh (al Takfir wal
Hijra Face to Face) (Cairo: Maktabat al Din al Qayyim, 1985), p.
160. (in Arabic).


23. See Fathi Shiqaqi, Al A'mal al Kamila (The Complete Works)
(Cairo: Markaz Yafa lil Dirasat wal Abhath, 1997). See also the
theological justification provided by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad
sheikh in As'ad Bayyud Tamimi, Al Quran wal Sunnah wa Hatmiyat
Izalat Dawlat al Yahud (It is an Imperative Religious Duty to
Eliminate the County of the Jews) (N.P, 1982?).


24. Fawaz A. Gerges, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 8.


25. Nemat Guenena, The Jihad: An Islamic Alternative in Egypt
(Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1986).


26. Hisham Mubarak, Souhail Shadoud, and Steve Tamari, "What Does
the Gama'a Islamiyya Want? An Interview with Tal'at Fu'ad Qasim,"
Middle East Report (January-March 1996), p. 40


27. Gilles Kepel, Muslim Extremism in Egypt: The Prophet and the
Pharaoh, Trans. Jon Rothschild (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 2003), p. 207. See also Malika Zeghal, "Religion and Politics
in Egypt: The Ulema of al Azhar, Radical Islam, and the State (1952-
94)," International Journal of Middle East Studies 31(3) (August
1999), p. 39.


28. David Zeidan, "Radical Islam in Egypt: A Comparison of Two
Groups," Middle East Review of International Affairs 3(3) (September
1999), p. 3. Faraj, however, denied that Rahman was the spiritual
leader of the group. See Nemat Guenena, The Jihad: An Islamic
Alternative in Egypt (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press,
1986), p. 60. This contradicts significant evidence to the contrary.


29. Johannes J.G. Jansen, The Neglected Duty: The Creed of Sadat's
Assassins and Islamic Resurgence in the Middle East (New York:
MacMillan, 1986), p. 166.


30. Ibid., p. 175.


31. Ibid., p. 179.


32. Cf. Ibn Taymiyya on Public and Private Law in Islam or Public
Policy in Islamic Jurisprudence, Omar A. Farrukh, trans. (Beirut:
Khayats, 1966), p. 146 and Thomas Raff, Remarks on an Anti- Mongol
Fatwa by Ibn Taimiya (Leiden: N.P., 1973), passim.


33. See Abd al-Fattah Muhammed El-Awaisi, The Muslim Brothers and
the Palestine Question, 1928-1947 (London: I.B. Tauris Academic
Studies, 1998), pp. 16-18. See also Brynjar Lia, The Society of the
Muslim Brothers in Egypt: The Rise of an Islamic Mass Movement, 1928-
1942 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998), p. 235.


34. Nemat Guenena, The Jihad: An Islamic Alternative in Egypt
(Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1986), p. 45.


35. Jansen, The Neglected Duty, p. 192.


36. Ibid., p. 192. It is unknown how original this formulation was.
In a 1979 trial Husni Abbu, the Muslim Brotherhood's military
commander in Aleppo, answered a prosecution question on the aims of
his group "only when we shall have finished purging our country of
godlessness shall we turn against Israel." Emmanuel Sivan, Radical
Islam: Medieval Theology and Modern Politics (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1985), p. 19.


37. Jansen, The Neglected Duty, p. 193. It is interesting that
despite the theological arguments that gird the document, Faraj
never cites a Quranic verse, 9:123, which could have grounded his
case to fight the near enemy solidly on religious grounds. 9:123
reads in part: "fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you
and let them find in you hardness." A possible explanation for the
absence of this verse may be that Faraj was most interested in the
strategic calculations.


38. Jansen, The Neglected Duty, p. 187.


39. Ibid., p. 176.


40. Nemat Guenena, The Jihad: An Islamic Alternative in Egypt
(Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 1986), p. 56, n. 18.
This has since been confirmed by those who were present at the
beginnings of these groups; see Muhammad Salah al-Din, "Interview
with Majdi Salim," Al Hayat (UK), 16 October 1993; and "Interview
with Kamal al Sayyid Habib," Al Sharq al Awsat, 26 October 2001.


41. Jansen, The Neglected Duty, p. 203.


42. Adel Hammoudeh, "al Aanef Saad Ila al Qouma" ("Violence Rises to
the Top,") Ruz al Yusuf, 8 September 1986.


43. Hisham Mubarak, Souhail Shadoud, and Steve Tamari, "What Does
the Gama'a Islamiyya Want? An Interview with Tal'at Fu'ad Qasim,"
Middle East Report (January-March 1996), p. 42.


44. Lawrence Wright, "The Man Behind Bin Laden," The New Yorker, 16
September 2002; See also Nabil Abu Stayt, "Egypt's Islamic Jihad
Rises," Al Sharq al Awsat, 6 February 2000.


45. Mubarak et al., "What Does the Gama'a Islamiyya Want?", p. 43.


46. Mary Anne Weaver, "The Trail of the Sheikh," The New Yorker,
April 12, 1993, pg. 89.


47. Ibid., p. 77. See also Richard Bernstein, "Trail of the Sheik,"
The New York Times, 8 January 1995.


48. Gilles Kepel, Muslim Extremism in Egypt: The Prophet and the
Pharaoh, Trans. Jon Rothschild (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 2003), p. 207.


49. Weaver, "The Trail of the Sheikh," p. 77.


50. Malika Zeghal, "Religion and Politics in Egypt: The Ulema of al
Azhar, Radical Islam, and the State (1952- 94)," International
Journal of Middle East Studies 31(3) (August 1999), p. 392.


51. Omar Ahmed Ali Abdurrahman, The Present Rulers and Islam: Are
they Muslims or Not? Trans. Umar Johnstone (London: Al Firdous,
1990), p. 7.


52. "Al Jihad in Egypt: What Is It? How Does It Think? What Does It
Want?" al 'Ahd, January 17, 1987.


53. Ibid.


54. Dr. Naajeh Ibrahim, Asim Abdul Maajid, and Essam ud-Deen
Darbaalah, In Pursuit of Allah's Pleasure, (London: Al Firdous,
Ltd., 1997), p. 135.


55. Ibid., p. 110.


56. Ibid., p. 48.


57. For more information of the hisba and its development over time,
see Michael Cook, Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic
Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).


58. Hisham Tantawi, "Islamic Leader Criticizes al Azhar Sheikh," Al
Ahrar (Cairo), 14 January 1989.


59. "Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman to Nida'ul Islam: Muslims Should Continue
to Call to Allah and Struggle Relentlessly for His Sake," Nida'ul
Islam, No. 16 (December-January, 1996-97).


60. "Who are the Men Known as the Arab Afghans?" Al Ahram (Egypt),
14 April 1994.


61. Khalid Sharaf-al-Din, "Fundamentalists' Leaders Formed Bogus
Organizations To Confuse the Security Organs," Al Sharq al Awsat, 7
March 1999.


62. Data comes from Heba Aziz, "Understanding Attacks on Tourists in
Egypt," Tourism Management 16(2) (1995) and Salah Wahab, "Tourism
and Terrorism: Synthesis of the Problem with Emphasis on Egypt," in
A. Pizam and Y. Mansfeld, eds. Tourism, Crime, and Security Issues
(London: Wiley and Sons, 1996).


63. Mary Anne Weaver, "Blowback," The Atlantic Monthly, May 1996.
See also Robert I. Friedman, "The CIA and the Sheikh," The Village
Voice, 30 March 1993.


64. Christopher Walker and Ben Macintyre, "Taped Sermons of Sheik
Stir Up Violence in Egypt," The Times (UK), 20 March 1993.


65. Weaver, "The Trail of the Sheikh," p. 88.


66. Cited in Hesham al Awadi, In Pursuit of Legitimacy: The Muslim
Brothers and Mubarak, 1982-2000 (London: Tauris Academic Studies,
2004), p. 154. See also the chart on that same page.


67. Susan Sachs, "Muslim Extremists Raise a Bold, Violent Challenge
to Mubarak Government," The Houston Chronicle, 4 November 1992.


68. Jeffrey A. Nedoroscik, "Extremist Groups in Egypt," Terrorism
and Political Violence 14(2) (Summer 2002), p. 49.


69. Cited in Awadi, In Pursuit of Legitimacy, p. 179.


70. Weaver, "The Trail of the Sheikh," p. 85.


71. Montasser al Zayyat, The Road to al Qaeda: The Story of Bin
Laden's Right- Hand Man, Trans. Ahmed Fekry, (London: Pluto Press,
2004), pp. 30-34.


72. Nimrod Raphaeli, "Muhammed Rabi al Zawahiri: The Making of an
Arch Terrorist," Terrorism and Political Violence 14(2) (2002), p. 4.


73. Adnan S. Musallam, From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the
Foundations of Radical Islamism (Westport, CO: Praeger, 2005), pp.
186-188.


74. Ayman al Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet's Banner:
Meditations on the Jihadist Movement, serialized by Al Sharq al
Awsat in 11 parts from 2-13 December 2001, pt. 3.


75. Ibid. See also "Who are the Men Known as the Arab Afghans?" Al
Ahram (Egypt), 14 April 1994.


76. Ibid., pt. 4.


77. Ibid.


78. Montasser al Zayyat, The Road to al Qaeda: The Story of Bin
Laden's Right- Hand Man, Trans. Ahmed Fekry (London: Pluto Press,
2004), p. 43.


79. Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, pt. 2.


80. Nimrod Raphaeli, "Muhammed Rabi al Zawahiri: The Making of an
Arch Terrorist," Terrorism and Political Violence 14(2) (2002), p.
8. See also "Report on Egyptian Fundamentalists," Al Sharq al Awsat,
18 July 1999; Usamah Abd al Haqq, "Increasing Signs of Extraditing
Islamist Leaders in Europe to Egypt," Al Majallah (Egypt), 2
December 2001; Abd al Latif al Manawi, "Interview with Ahmad Husayn
Mustafa Ujayzah," Al Sharq al Awsat, 9 September 1999; and Nabil Abu
Stayt, "Egypt's Islamic Jihad Rises," Al Sharq al Awsat, 6 February
2000.


81. "Suprises of the Vanguards of Conquest: The First Appearance of
al Jihad Since the Assassination of al-Sadat," Al Musawwar (Egypt),
27 August 1993.


82. Ayman al Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, pt. 2.
See also "Who are the Men Known as the Arab Afghans?" Al Ahram
(Egypt) 14 April 1994.


83. The author thanks Thomas Hegghammer for this observation. For
more on the place of Taber's work in jihadist thought, see Brynjar
Lia, Architect of Global Jihad (London: Hurst, 2007), pp. 225-226.


84. Robert Taber, The War of the Flea: Guerrilla Warfare in Theory
and Practice (New York: Lyle Stuart, 1965), pp. 27-28.


85. Ayman al Zawahiri, Hasad al Murr: Al Ikhwan al Muslimeen fi
Sittin Aman (The Bitter Harvest: The Muslim Brotherhood in Sixty
Years) (N.P.: 1991-1992?), p. 54 (in Arabic). See also pp. 70-71.


86. "Interview with Ayman al Zawahiri," Al Arabi (Egypt), 22
November 1993.


87. Quoted in Montasser al Zayyat, The Road to al Qaeda: The Story
of Bin Laden's Right- Hand Man, Trans. Ahmed Fekry (London: Pluto
Press, 2004), p. 62. See also Brynjar Lia, Architect of Global Jihad
(London: Hurst, 2007), p. 280


88. Ayman al Zawahiri, "Ibn Baaz bayn al Haq wal al Wahm (Bin Baz
between Truth and Illusion)," al Mujahidoun, No. 11 (1995). (in
Arabic).


89. Montasser al Zayyat, The Road to al Qaeda: The Story of Bin
Laden's Right-Hand Man, Trans. Ahmed Fekry (London: Pluto Press,
2004), p. 63.


90. Muhammad Jamal Barut, "The Study of al Banna and Qutb's Ideas
Causes Upheaval al Zawahri Embodies the Islamic Extremism
Phenomenon," Al-Bayan, (UAE), 14 November 2001 (in Arabic). Accessed
from http://www.thisissyria.net.


91. Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, pt. 6.


92. Khalid Sharif al Din, "Egypt's Islamic Group Moves Toward
Establishing a Political Party," al Sharq al Awsat (UK), 3 March
1999. For more on the truce, see "Cairo Leaving Door Ajar to Respond
to IG/Jihad Truce Initiative," Mideast Mirror, 15 August 1997, Diaa
Rashwan, "Struggle Within the Ranks," Al Ahram (Egypt), 5 November
1998, and Khaled Dawoud, "Farewell to Arms," al Ahram (Egypt), 6
January 2000.


93. Muhammed al Shafi'i, "Al Qaeda's Secret Emails, Pt. 5," Al Sharq
al Awsat, 15 December 2002.


94. Khaled Dawoud, "Divided on Violence," Al Ahram (Egypt), 4
January 2001.


95. For more on Abdullah Azzam, see Thomas Hegghammer, "Abdullah
Azzam, l'mam du jihad," in Gilles Kepel, ed., Al-Qaida Dans le Texte
(Paris: Proche Orient: 2005) and Bernard Rougier, Everyday Jihad
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), p. 70-84.


96. Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: Free Press,
2006), p. 29.


97. "al Qaeda from Within: As Narrated by Abu Jandal, Bin Laden's
Personal Guard," Serialized in 10 parts by Al Quds al Arabi from 20
March 2005 to 4 April 2005, pt. 4.


98. Personal communication with Israeli scholar Asaf Maliach, 19
April 2006.


99. For an account of the MAK's offices in the United States, see
Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (New
York: Free Press, 2002), p. 56.


100. Thomas Hegghammer, "Abdullah Azzam, l'mam du jihad," in Gilles
Kepel, ed., Al-Qaida Dans le Texte (Paris: Proche Orient: 2005), in
particular pp. 135-136.


101. Abdullah Azzam, "Open Letter to Every Muslim on Earth," Al
Jihad, No. 4 (22 March 1985), pp. 22-26.


102. Abdullah Azzam, Defense of Muslim Lands (Azzam Publications,
N.D.), p. 23. See also Al Jihad, No. 7 (June 1985).


103. Abdullah Azzam, "From Kabul to Jerusalem," Al Jihad, No. 52
(February-March 1989), n.p.


104. Edward A. Gargan, "Afghan War Incited Muslim Warriors into
Global Action," The New York Times, 21 August 1993. See also
Weaver, "The Trail of the Sheikh," p. 79.


105. Stephen Engelberg, "One Man and a Global Web of Violence," The
New York Times, 14 January 2001. See also Thomas
Hegghammer, "Abdullah Azzam, l'mam du jihad," in Gilles Kepel, ed.,
Al-Qaida Dans le Texte (Paris: Proche Orient: 2005), in particular
pp. 135-136.


106. Weaver, "The Trail of the Sheikh," p. 73.


107. Lawrence Wright, "The Man Behind Bin Laden," The New Yorker, 16
September 2002.


108. Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: Free Press,
2006), p. 68.


109. Lawrence Wright, "The Man Behind Bin Laden," The New Yorker, 16
September 2002. See also Montasser al Zayyat, The Road to al Qaeda:
The Story of Bin Laden's Right- Hand Man, Trans. Ahmed Fekry
(London: Pluto Press, 2004), p. 88.


110. Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: Free Press,
2006), p. 69.


111. Jamil Ziabi, "The Legal Ideologue of al Qaeda Leader, Mussa al
Qarni, Recalls the Stages of the Rise and Fall of the Islamic State
Dream in Afghanistan, Pt. 2" Al Hayat (UK), 14 March 2006.


112. "The Story of the Arab Afghans from the Time of Arrival in
Afghanistan until their Departure with the Taliban," pt. 5. See also
Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: Free Press,
2006), p. 62.


113. Jason Burke, al Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror (London: I.B.
Tauris, 2003), p. 77.


114. Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: Free Press,
2006), p. 63.


115. "The Oldest Arab Afghan Talks to al Sharq al Awsat About His
Career that Finally Landed Him in Prison in Saudi Arabia."


116. Abdel Bari Atwan, The Secret History of Al Qaeda (London: Saqi
Books, 2006), p. 76. See also Jeffrey A. Nedoroscik, "Extremist
Groups in Egypt," Terrorism and Political Violence 14(2) (Summer
2002), p. 62 and Anonymous (Michael Scheuer), Through Our Enemies
Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam, and The Future of America
(Washington, DC: Brasseys, 2002), pp. 93-95.


117. Abu Walid al Misri, "The Story of the Arab Afghans from the
Time of Arrival in Afghanistan until their Departure with the
Taliban," serialized by Al Sharq al Awsat in seven parts from 8-14
December 2004, pt. 7.


118. Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: Free Press,
2006), pp. 108-109.


119. Stephen Engelberg, "One Man and a Global Web of Violence," The
New York Times, 14 January 2001.


120. Testimony of L'Houssaine Khertchou, United States of America
vs. Osama Bin Laden, et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York, S(7) 98 Cr. 1023, 29 March 2001, p. 4745.


121. Testimony of Jamal al Fadl, United States of America vs. Osama
Bin Laden, et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York, S(7) 98 Cr. 1023, 6 February 2001, p. 190.


122. Abu Walid al Misri, "The Story of the Arab Afghans from the
Time of Arrival in Afghanistan until their Departure with the
Taliban," serialized by Al Sharq al Awsat in seven parts from 8-14
December 2004, pt. 6. See also "al Qaeda from Within: As Narrated by
Abu Jandal, Bin Laden's Personal Guard," Serialized in 10 parts by
Al Quds al Arabi from 20 March 2005 to 4 April 2005, pt. 3; and
Peter Bergen, The Osama Bin Laden I Know (New York: Free Press,
2006), pp. 108-109.


123. Cf. Osama Bin Laden, "Saudi Arabia Continues its War Against
Islam and Its Scholars," 9 March 1995. This letter is in the HARMONY
collection of the U.S. Department of Defense, designation AFGP-2002-
003345.


124. Osama Bin Laden, "The Bosnia Tragedy and the Deception of the
Servant of the Two Mosques," 11 August 1995. This letter is in the
HARMONY collection of the U.S. Department of Defense, designation
AFGP-2002-003345.


125. Robert Fisk, "Why We Reject the West - by the Saudi's Fiercest
Arab Critic," The Independent (UK), 10 July 1996.


126. Osama Bin Laden, "Declaration of Jihad," 23 August 1996. This
is the full version, as opposed to the edited version used in
Messages to the World. This document is available at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4342-2001Sep21


127. "The Mujahid Osama Bin Laden Talks Exclusively to Nida'ul Islam
about the New Powder Keg in the Middle East," Nida'ul Islam, No. 15
(October-November 1996).


128. Peter Arnett, "Interview with Osama Bin Laden," CNN, March 1997.


129. Osama Bin Laden et al., "Declaration of the World Islamic Front
Against the Jews and Crusaders," 23 February 1998. In Bruce
Lawrence, ed., Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin
Laden (London: Verso, 2005), p. 61.


130. "Egypt's Jihad Says Asked by Bin Laden to Turn Guns on U.S.,"
Agence France Presse, 24 February 1999.


131. "Bin-Ladin Took Advantage of the Situation of the Egyptian
Jihad and Islamic Group Organizations To Impose His Control on Them
and Form a World Front for 'Liberating the Holy Places'," Al Sharq
al Awsat, 20 April 1999.


132. John Miller, "Interview with Osama Bin Laden," ABC News, May
1998. This particular question was not asked by Miller but by an Al
Qaeda member to Bin Laden, which Miller and his crew recorded.


133. "al Qaeda from Within: As Narrated by Abu Jandal, Bin Laden's
Personal Guard," Serialized in 10 parts by Al Quds al Arabi from 20
March 2005 to 4 April 2005, pt. 8.


134. Abu Walid al Misri, "The Story of the Arab Afghans from the
Time of Arrival in Afghanistan until their Departure with the
Taliban," serialized by Al Sharq al Awsat in seven parts from 8-14
December 2004, pt. 2. This appears to be an emerging critical
narrative of 9/11 inside the jihadist community.


135. Abu Huthayfa, "A Memo to the Honorable Sheikh Abu Abdullah (Bin
Laden)," 20 June 2000, p. 39. This letter is in the HARMONY
collection of the U.S. Department of Defense, designation AFGP-2002-
003251.


136. "al Qaeda from Within: As Narrated by Abu Jandal, Bin Laden's
Personal Guard," Serialized in 10 parts by Al Quds al Arabi from 20
March 2005 to 4 April 2005, pt. 4.


137. Ibid., pt. 5.


138. Abu Musab al Suri, Dawat al Muqawama al Islamiyya al Alamiyya,
(N.P., 2004), pp. 711-712.


139. Ayman al Zawahiri, Knights Under the Prophet's Banner, pt. 11.


140. Muhammad al-Shafi'i, "Fundamentalist Sources: Al Zawahiri
Ousted Following Many Complaints in the Jihad Organization's Shura
Council: Said the Call to Kill the Americans Contravenes the
Principles of Islamic Shari'ah and the Organization's Strategy," Al
Sharq al Awsat, 27 January 2000.


141. Muhammad al-Shafi'i, "Fundamentalist Sources: Al Zawahiri
Ousted Following Many Complaints in the Jihad Organization's Shura
Council: Said the Call to Kill the Americans Contravenes the
Principles of Islamic Shari'ah and the Organization's Strategy," Al
Sharq al Awsat, 27 January 2000.


142. Alan Cullison and Andrew Higgins, "Files Found: A Computer in
Kabul Yields a Chilling Array of al Qaeda Memos," The Wall Street
Journal, 31 December 2001.


143. Muhammed al Shafi'i, "Al Qaeda's Secret Emails, Pt. 4," Al
Sharq al Awsat, 15 December 2002. See also Alan Cullison, "Inside al
Qaeda's Hard Drive," The Atlantic Monthly, September 2004, p. 67.


144. Andrew Higgins and Alan Cullison, "Terrorist's Odyssey: Saga of
Dr. Zawahiri Illuminates Roots of al Qaeda Terror," The Wall Street
Journal, 2 July 2002.


145. Muhammed al Shafi'i, "Al Qaeda's Secret Emails, Pt. 2," Al
Sharq al Awsat, 14 December 2002.


146. Ibid.


147. Andrew Higgins and Alan Cullison, "Friend or Foe: The Story of
a Traitor to al Qaeda," The Wall Street Journal, 20 December 2002.


148. Alan Cullison, "Inside al Qaeda's Hard Drive," The Atlantic
Monthly, September 2004, p. 64.


149. See, for instance Rohan Gunaratna, Inside al Qaeda: Global
Network of Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), p.
26; The Road to al Qaeda: The Story of Bin Laden's Right- Hand Man,
p. 98; The Secret History of Al Qaeda, p. 50; Gilles Kepel, Islam
and The West: The War for Muslim Minds (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 2004), p. 87; Testimony of L'Houssaine Khertchou,
United States of America vs. Osama Bin Laden, et al, U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York, S(7) 98 Cr. 1023, 26
February 2001, p. 1461; Philippe Naughton, "The Man They Call Bin
Laden's Brain," The Times (UK), 4 August 2005; and Jamil Ziabi, "The
Legal Ideologue of al Qaeda Leader, Mussa al Qarni, Recalls the
Stages of the Rise and Fall of the Islamic State Dream in
Afghanistan, Pt. 2" Al Hayat (UK), 14 March 2006.


150. "The Man Behind Bin Laden." "Terrorist's Odyssey: Saga of Dr.
Zawahiri Illuminates Roots of al Qaeda Terror."


151. Fawaz A. Gerges, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 121.


152. Diaa Rashwan, "Struggle Within the Ranks," Al Ahram (Egypt), 5
November 1998.


153. Muhammed al Shafi'i, "Al Qaeda's Secret Emails, Pt. 3," Al
Sharq al Awsat, 15 December 2002.


154. Diaa Rashwan, "Struggle Within the Ranks."


155. Available for download at
http://www.geocities.com/suporters_of_sharia/audio.htm


156. William McCants et al., The Militant Ideology Atlas (West
Point, NY: USMC Combating Terrorism Center, 2006).


157. "An Encounter Behind the Apostates' Bars in Jordan," an
interview with Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Nida'ul Islam,
conducted in two parts, in the December-January 1997-1998 (#21) and
February-March 1998 (#22) issues. This is from part 2.