Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Article in CTC Sentinel: "Revisiting Shaykh 'Atiyyatullah's Works on Takfir and Mass Violence"

I have a new article in the just-published April issue of West Point's CTC Sentinel, "Revisiting Shaykh 'Atiyyatullah's Works on Takfir and Mass Violence," which examines the writings and lectures of the late senior Al-Qa'ida Central ideologue Jamal Ibrahim Ishtaywi al-Misrati, who is more frequently known in transnational Sunni jihadi circles as Shaykh 'Atiyyatullah.  He was killed in a U.S. drone missile strike on August 22, 2011 in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

From the article's introduction (read the rest HERE):

"This article examines Atiyyatullah’s position on takfir and how it fits into the broader intra-jihadist debate on excommunicating and using violence against other Muslims. Atiyyatullah’s efforts to regulate the use of takfir and violence, particularly after the Iraq debacle, were one of the most pragmatic attempts at intervention in this debate. His continued cautioning of jihadists to not misuse or misapply takfir and violence serves as an unintended confirmation that these were continuing problems among them, belying his attempts to deflect the allegations. Even in death, Atiyyatullah continues to serve as a charismatic voice for al-Qa`ida central and its allies, with the posthumous publication of writings and audio messages and citation of his previous work by al-Qa`ida central, its allies such as al-Shabab in Somalia, and “cyber” jihadists."

Friday, April 20, 2012

My New Article at Foreign Policy's AFPAK Channel on Rising but Relatively Unknown Al-Qa'ida Central Preacher Khalid al-Husaynan

I have a new article that was published today at Foreign Policy magazine's AFPAK Channel on the relatively unknown Al-Qa'ida Central missionary preacher Khalid bin 'Abd al-Rahman al-Husaynan.

The introduction reads: 

"The last two years have not been kind to al-Qaeda Central (AQC). U.S. drone strikes over Pakistan's Pashtun tribal regions have decimated its leadership ranks, killing a number of senior operational leaders and ideologues. These killings have eroded the ability of AQC and the transnational Sunni jihadi current to propagate its message.  Despite these losses, however, AQC still has a number of charismatic voices that it is able to, and frequently does, deploy.  One of these is the group's chief juridical voice, Abu Yahya al-Libi. A second is the Kuwaiti preacher Khalid bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Husaynan, a much lesser-known ideologue who has played an increasingly prominent role in AQC's media productions since his debut in an often comedic "quiet dialogue." This "dialogue" was actually a rhetorical monologue aimed at U.S. president Barack Obama, released by the group's al-Sahab Media Foundation in August 2009. Since then, al-Husaynan has emerged as both the spiritual guide to AQC's armed cadres in the AfPak region and the group's missionary ambassador tasked with wooing new recruits from abroad."

 Read the rest of the article at the AFPAK CHANNEL.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Somalia's Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen Statement to Kenya: Your Security Depends on Our Security""

The Somali insurgent movement Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen (Al-Shabab, Al-Shabaab) issued a press release linking Kenyan security to security inside Somalia. It is the latest in a growing line of communications between Al-Shabab and Kenya, which represent a form of indirect communication between the two parties.

For Immediate Release: Kenya - Your Security Depends on Our Security

For Immediate Release

Kenya: Your Security Depends on Our Security

Mogadishu (01/04/2012) – After nearly six months into the aggressive invasion of this Muslims land, the Kenyan forces have miserably failed to achieve the intended operational and military objectives in Somalia, concluding the first phase of their invasion.

Debilitated by a strategic lack of awareness, combat experience and severe economic strains, the Kenyan troops, having failed to consider the essential capabilities and characteristics of the Mujahideen in advance, have now subserviently submitted to the command of AMSIOM, demonstrating the apparent weakness and lack of determination of the entire country’s force. And as the Kenyan invasion ambivalently stumbles into its second phase, now under AMISOM flag, the Mujahideen have formulated new methods and a fresh approach to counter the invasion.

In a series of coordinated operations, the Mujahideen have successfully managed to disintegrate battle plans and disrupt supply routes of the Kenyan forces, inhibiting their ability to adapt and manoeuvre freely in Southern Somalia. Lacking precision and planning, the bumbling incompetence of the Kenyan troops in Somalia has been beneficial to the Mujahideen and helped them secure towns and villages behind enemy lines. Units of Mujahideen are also constantly on the trail of KDF troops deployed along the colonial border.

With Kenya now perilously sailing along a tremulous sea, lacking both the political purpose and the will of its soldiers, the Kenyan public is also gradually being sucked into the maelstrom of an endless war. The deteriorating insecurity in Kenyan cities is an embodiment of Kenya’s misguided policies that place foreign interests above its national interests and the security of Western nations above the security of its citizens, thereby wasting the lives of its men and its resources for no real gain.

The Kenyan public must be aware that the more Kenyan troops continue to persecute innocent Muslims of Somalia, the less secure Kenyan cities will be; and the more oppression the Muslims of Somalia feel, the more constricted Kenyan life will be. Such is the law of Retributution. Your security depends on our security. It is a long, protracted war and Kenyans must neither harbour a reason for optimism nor hope for triumph.

Press Office

Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen