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1 Who Were/Are the Terrorists and What is their Current Status? Adapted from Understanding Terror Networks by Marc SagemanMarc Sageman Khadafi Abubakar.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Who Were/Are the Terrorists and What is their Current Status? Adapted from Understanding Terror Networks by Marc SagemanMarc Sageman Khadafi Abubakar."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Who Were/Are the Terrorists and What is their Current Status? Adapted from Understanding Terror Networks by Marc SagemanMarc Sageman Khadafi Abubakar Janjala-Philippine Ramadan Shallah Palestinian Ali Saed Bin Ali Al Houri-Saudi Anas Al-Sabai Libyan Jaber A. Elbaneh Yemeni Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah-Egyptian Ali Atwa-Lebanese Abdul Rahman Yasin American Fazul Abdullah Mohammed-Kenya

2 2 Evidence Based Terrorism Research Application of scientific method to terrorism research Started with 9/11 Perpetrators as index sample 400 biographies of terrorists: Open Source information 1.Trial transcripts US, France, Germany, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Canada 2.Press accounts: English, French, German, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Dutch 3.Academic publications 4.Internet (corroborated)

3 3 Global Salafi Jihad Violent Islamist born-again social movement Fight for justice & fairness: –Build a better world; utopia modeled on the community of the Prophet & his companions (Salaf) Four phases: –Peaceful capture of a state (Afghanistan?) –Against the near enemy (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, etc.) –Global expansion of defensive jihad - Global offense against the far enemy (Western Nations) Expel the West from the Middle East Establish an Islamist state

4 4 Evolution of al Qaeda - Control of “Golden Chain:” exclusive funding for terrorism - Control of training camps & establishment of shelter - Staff for planning & coordination - Afghanistan, as failed state, has little ability to control al Qaeda : Militants come to fight the anti-Soviet jihad & could not go home stayed behind and formed al Qaeda : Most militants expelled from Pakistan went to Sudan - Switch of strategy from “near enemy” to “far enemy” 1996: 150 militants expelled from Sudan returned to Afghanistan Three processes of self-selection of the most militants: : Golden age of al Qaeda: Al Qaeda controlled social movement & focused it on “far enemy”

5 5 GLOBAL SALAFI NETWORK Central Staff (38) Militants who formed bonds after the Soviets left Afghanistan Core Arabs Arabian Peninsula Jordan Egypt (127) Maghreb Arabs Tunisia Algeria Morroco (162) Southeast Asians Indonesia Malaysia (55)

6 6 Family of Origin (SES)

7 7 Age Distribution

8 8 Age Average: years Southeast Asians:29.35 years Central Staff:27.90 years Core Arabs: years

9 9 Type of Education.

10 10 Levels of Education

11 11 Devotion as Youth

12 12 Occupation

13 13 Family Status 73% married –Most had children –All of Central Staff and Southeast Asian members were married Most unmarried were students or too young Consistent with Salafi Islam

14 14 Criminal Background Vast Majority: no crime Some major crime –Robbery (Roubaix gang, Kelkal gang, JI) Petty crime: Maghreb logistic cells –Credit card fraud, false documents, insurance fraud –Drug traffic (more common now) Those least likely to do harm individually are most able to do so collectively.

15 15 Mental Health Very little evidence of mental illness Very little evidence of personality disorder –No narcissism (willingness to sacrifice for the comrade & cause) –No pathological hatred –Very little trauma in family studies: usually overprotected youths Overall, “good kids,” except second generation Maghreb Arabs, who lived life of petty crime

16 16 Diaspora Global Salafi Jihad is a Diaspora phenomenon 84% of Global Salafi Mujahedin have joined the jihad, while living in a Diaspora (87% in Western Europe) Since the early 1960s, Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers have moved to Europe and slowly but steadily established a wide and well-organized network of mosques, charities and Islamic organizations. Its motto is telling: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."

17 17 Joining the Jihad Friendship (pre-existing): 68% –“Bunch of guys” collectively deciding to join –Joining childhood friends Kinship: 20% –Fathers, brothers, first cousins –Importance of in-laws & marriage to cement friendship bonds Discipleship: 10% Students of Sungkar & Baasyir from Jamaah Islamiyah Abu Bakar Bashir an Indonesian Muslim cleric and leader of the Indonesian Mujahedeen Council (MMI). Intelligence agencies claim he is the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and has links with Al Qaeda Indonesian Mujahedeen CouncilJemaah Islamiyah

18 18 Trajectory of Core Arabs Separated from traditional bonds & culture Homesick, lonely, marginalized & excluded from society Seek friends Drifted to mosques for companionship, not religion Moved in together (halal food), formed cliques Upwardly & geographically mobile (“best & brightest”) Mostly from religious, caring & middle class families Global citizens, conversant in 3 or 4 languages, skilled in computer technology HATE THE HYPOCRACY OF THE ROYAL FAMILIES

19 19 The family home of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu-Dhabi

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29 29 Trajectory of Maghreb Arabs Two main paths –Second generation in the West –Young economic immigrants to the West Upwardly mobile, & completely secular background Excluded from society in Europe Dropped out of school –Petty crime (false documents & drug dealing) –Drug addiction Groups of friends, who grew up together & collectively drifted to religion to escape their situation

30 30 We have nothing to lose for we have nothing In your place I would not sleep well The bourgeoisie should tremble, the gangstas are in town Not to party, but to burn the place down…. Where are our roots? Who are our models? You’ve burned the wings of a whole generation Shattered dreams, soiled the seed of hope. Oh! when I think about it It’s time to think; it’s time that France Deigns to take account of its crimes But in any event, the cup is full History teaches that our chances are nil So stop before it gets out of hand Or creates even more hatred Let’s unite and incinerate the system But why, why are we waiting to set the fire? Suprême NTM (French Rap Group)

31 31 The Closed Society Ethnic/Race/Class Exploitation The aim of a closed society is to ensure the supremacy of one class (or race or group) over another To bridge the gap, an elaborate set of explanations and ideas are needed which is, by definition, at variance with the facts SEGREGATION, APARTHIED, ROYALTY, ETC.

32 32 European Social Conditions Alienated young Muslims, who became radicalized in Europe Lack of alternative expression of social protest –Utopian vision for Justice & Fairness (Communist, Salafist…) –Demise of old Left in Europe (same people attracted to both) Failure of European integration policy for Muslim populations - Rapid immigration growth post WWII - Vulnerable to economic crises Rigid social structure in Europe - Lack of bottom up integration - Failure of top down policy (France, Germany & Britain) Europe v. countries built on immigration - No “European Dream” but an alienation & radicalization of the younger generation

33 33 What Mobilizes Them? Spontaneously self- organized “bunches of guys” of trusted friends, from the bottom up No top down Al Qaeda recruitment program –No campaign, or budget dedicated to recruitment Social bonds came before ideological commitment No evidence of “brainwashing”: they simply acquired the beliefs of their friends

34 34 Motivation Complete transformation of values Self-sacrifice for comrades and the cause Dynamics of dense social networks promotes in-group love Insidious process Low risk participation with an increasingly closer set of friends Importance of specific script for the global Salafi jihad: 12 Islamist institutions generated 50% of sample Salafi ideology: new values (Islam & ummah) - Greater jihad: “born again”, imitate Salaf through personal example - Faith & commitment grounded in intense small group dynamics - Gradual development of a collective identity

35 35 Out-group hate Grounded in everyday experience of discrimination & exclusion from highest levels of society –Endemic in Middle East & Western Europe Grounded in group dynamics: –“Bunch of guys” escalation of mutual complaints about the unfairness & injustice in society –Endorse conspiracy theories Endorse takfir doctrine  naming unbelievers and sanctions commission of crimes against themtakfir

36 36 Group Dynamics Explanation in normal group dynamics, rather than individual mental pathology Once in the movement, difficult to abandon it without betraying close friends & family This natural & intense loyalty to the group, inspired by a violent Salafi script, transforms alienated young Muslims into fanatic terrorists High risk terrorist operation The Formula In-group love + out-group hate (under specific violent script, often religious)  mass murder + suicide

37 37 Continued Evolution Success of Post 9/11 Counter-Terrorism campaign –Elimination of sanctuary, funding, communication & key leaders –Neutralization of al Qaeda proper Physical break up of formal global Salafi jihad networks –Expansion of home-grown initiative due to lack of leadership & restraints –Local autonomy, self-financing & self-training –Informal communications, difficult to monitor –Fuzzy boundaries: no formal initiation or fixed numbers –New local, more aggressive & reckless leadership

38 38 Present Status Four types of networks existing in parallel: 1.The old al Qaeda organization: Effectively neutralized (sanctuary denial, monitored) 2.The organized affiliated groups, now more autonomous: Zarqawi’s organization; JI/Philippines; MILF/Mindanao; GSPC/Algeria 3.Unaffiliated informal groups: Madrid group; “Salafia Jihadia” (Morocco); Hofstad group; Benchellali group (Algerian/Ricen); London groups; Khan al-Khalili and Taba resorts (Egypt); Istanbul group 4.Singletons: Osman Petmezci – Turk in Germany Kamel Bourgass – London Poison Plot

39 39 Effectiveness of U.S. Counterterrorism campaign pressures Global Salafi Jihad to evolve into the last two types of networks. 1.Unaffiliated informal groups 2.Singletons Forces migration of the Jihad to the Internet Virtually connected via Internet World Wide Web: mass medium (passive, informative) Internet: interactive transformation of the jihad

40 40 Mass Medium for the Jihad WWW impacts the substance of the Salafi message Diffusion of Salafi message, bypassing traditional imams Selective sound bite version of Islam Rejection of traditions fosters unique interpretation of the Quran No more need for “preachers of hate” Jihadi message alive on WWW WWW is home to war of narratives, fought on the battlefield of interpretations

41 41 Impact of WWW Virtual anonymous market place for providers (ideologues) & consumers (home-grown volunteers) of ideas: goals, strategy & tactics –No need for leaders or training camps Rapid evolution toward a “Leaderless Jihad” Co-existence of multiple competing websites Peaceful co-existence of rivals on competing sites: decrease of internal dissent Consumers pick & choose preferred sites & messages (inspiration & activation) Inversion of power pyramid: followers are in control Natural selection of most persuasive sites

42 42 Toward a Global “Leaderless” Jihad Decentralized, loosely connected network –Mobilized and motivated autonomously –No more 9/11, but lots of 3/11 (Spain) or 7/7 (London), especially in Europe –Threat to the West from Western Europe Military role (no hard targets) –Sanctuary denial in potential failed or friendly states –Coordination of local CT activities Virtual “Invisible Hand” Organizing Terrorist Operations Vision Of Salafi Utopia Unites The Leaderless Jihad Ideological Battleground – A War Of Ideas


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