Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Article: "The Rhetoric of Revolution" on Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's Attempts to Harness Populist Discontent



I have a new article that was published yesterday afternoon at the AFPAK Channel, a joint project of Foreign Policy magazine and the New America Foundation.

The article analyzes the rhetoric of the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan) prior to recent general elections as well as in recent year, specifically attempts by the TTP to harness populist discontent in an effort to win wider support.

The introductory paragraph reads:

"In the run-up to Pakistan's general elections, which were held on May 11, the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) once again reiterated its call for Pakistanis to reject the system of democracy in favor for the rule of Islamic law (shari‘a). The militant movement, like other Sunni jihadis, seeks to implement a state governed by its interpretation of shari‘a and sees other governing systems, including the democratic nation-state, as running counter to what it believes has been divinely commanded by God.  In addition to its religio-political argument, the TTP has increasingly employed appeals to populism in an attempt to tap into widespread public discontent in Pakistan over the state of the economy, unemployment, regional discontent in the province of Baluchistan, and rampant corruption" 

Read the rest of the article at the AFPAK CHANNEL.

VIDEO: What after Qusayr? (The Spread of Shi'ism?)




VIDEO: Message of Support from the Freeborn of Gaza to the Revolutionaries of Syria




VIDEO: Spread of the "Mujahideen" in Anbar Province, Iraq




Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Middle East Week Podcast Discussion on Conceptions of Military Jihad & Martyrdom among Contemporary Sunni and Shi'i Militants



Last week I appeared on the Middle East Week podcast hosted by Karl Morand.  We discussed conceptions of military jihad and battlefield martyrdom among contemporary Sunni and Shi'i militants, the different and often competing Sadrist groups in Iraq, Twelver Shi'i Islam, and Shi'i foreign fighters in Syria.

You can listen and download the podcast at the Middle East Week SITE.

My New Article, "The Militant Web," at Foreign Policy's AFPAK Channel on the Jihadi Landscape in Afghanistan & Pakistan



I have a new article out today at Foreign Policy magazine's AFPAK Channel.  It discusses the interwoven nature of the militant landscape in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a particular focus on the personal and professional relationships between many of the region's militant groups.  These include the Afghan Taliban, Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkestan Islamic Party, and Al-Qa'ida Central.

The introductory paragraph reads:

"A recently published jihadi Internet magazine, Azan: A Call to Jihad, produced by a group calling itself the "Taliban of Khurasan," has led to speculation about disappearing lines between Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Afghan Taliban, and other affiliated groups in the region.  The numerous "Taliban" groups operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, from the TTP umbrella movement to factions of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, pay allegiance to Mullah Muhammad Umar, the founder of the original Afghan Taliban movement.  However, the degree to which this rhetoric translates into active cooperation and coordination on the ground remains hotly debated.  Using available primary sources, it is possible to sketch out the complex militant milieu in Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal regions, and get a picture of the types of cooperation and inter-group dynamics at play among the different organizations." 

Read the rest at FOREIGN POLICY.