ISLAMIC JIHAD, what comes next ? (c) Felipe Rodriquez - 13 September 2001
INTRODUCTION The attack on the World Trade Center in New York is a new phase in an ongoing global religious and ideological conflict. This conflict started in 1990, with the gulf war. The mother of all wars, as Saddam Hussein called it, and is unlikely to end for some time. To understand this conflict, we must look at the Western world's exploitation and colonization of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations . Economic and geopolitical moves that benefit only the western democratic capitalist structures are the primary cause of this terrible conflict. USAMA BIN MUHAMMAD BIN IN LADEN The Taliban consider Osama Bin Ladin to be a holy man, because of his incredible service in the Afghani war against the Russians, and the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Osama Bin Ladin has fought hundreds of battles in Afghanistan, and has been wounded numerous times. He went to Afghanistan around 1982, and took with him a large amount of construction equipment, and a team of engineers, to rebuild the war torn country. He is a devout Muslim, and answers to Allah and certain important Islamic teachers, such as Sheik Safar Ibn `Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hawali. He founded the "Al Qaeda" movement, with Muhammad Atef. The movement was initially setup to record the movements of Mujahedin in Afghanistan. Later the goal changed to driving the United States forces out of Saudi Arabia, where the US setup a military base since the beginning of the Gulf War. Many devout Muslims see this as a hostile invasion of the Islamic holy land, comparable to the invasions of the crusaders in the past. Some years later the goal changed once again, into what it is now; to attack Israel, the US and its allies wherever it can. The justification of these acts, in the mind of the Muslim activist, comes from the foreign occupation of the holy cities; Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. It is simplistic and short sighted to assume that Osama Bin Laden is the great leader behind the attacks on the WTC, the Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam US embassies, the hit on USS Cole in Yemen and various other terrorist attacks. Islamic religious activism is the glue that binds this global terror movement together. Removing Osama Bin Ladin from the scene will not remove this global movement, and will not end terror. Killing him will only motivate thousands of Muslims to volunteer for the ultimate sacrifice. The Islamic radical movement resembles a hydra, A serpent represented as having many heads, one of which, when cut off, is immediately succeeded by two others. The movement cannot be eradicated by violence and retaliation, such deeds will only make it stronger and increase popular support in the Islamic world. To understand how this works, lets look at Hizbollah and Hamas. These Islamic organizations have been setup in such a way that they are almost impossible to eradicate. There is always double redundancy in the leadership, because any leader can expect to be assassinated by their enemies at any time. The effectiveness of this redundancy is demonstrated by the fact that Hizbollah and Hamas still exist today, despite the fact that many of its leaders have been assassinated by Israel and others. We must assume that the leadership of the organization that hit the WTC, and other targets in the past, is organized in a similar way, building on the experience of Islamic organizations in Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere. Hamas and Hizbollah have integrated Islamic thought in their society by providing numerous services to their communities. Schools and hospitals are provided for free or at cost. And they materially support families, widows and orphans that have been victims of aggression by their enemies. Hizbollah operates numerous businesses, that together with donations fund the activities of the organization. These social activities provide the organizations with enormous popular support, it is an effective way of disseminating the virtues of Islam, and strengthening its base. It has also created a strong platform to recruit martyrs for the violent Jihad (Holy War) against Israel and its allies. >From documentation that was seized in Africa, after the Nairobi bombing, there is a strong indication that a cell structure was used to limit the risks to the terrorist organization that hit the African embassies, allegedly the same organization that hit the WTC in 2001. A cell structure is often used by violent groups. It is implemented in such a way that cell members only know a limited amount of members of the organization, and only have limited access to information about the planned activities of the group. Typically cell members only know the coordinator of the cell, and the coordinator only knows one higher placed member of the organization. The aim of the cell structure is to protect the organization, in case of arrests and torturous interrogations. The violent faction of the Islamic activist movement, such as the Islamic front for Jihad, is mostly invisible. It has been hardened through years of struggle in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is acutely aware of its security requirements, because numerous Islamic activists have been assassinated in the past. The WTC attack, and the other attacks in the past demonstrate that they have relatively good communication security; they most likely assume that all electronic communication is monitored by the US and its allies through their global Echelon surveillance system and the FBI's Carnivore software. Human infiltration of these groups is not likely either, most of these Islamic activists have been working together for many years. An infiltrator would have to speak fluent Arabic, would have to have intimate knowledge of the Quran and Islamic religious rituals, and would have to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, Martyrdom, to earn the trust of the organization. In 1853 adventurer Richard Burton managed to disguise himselfe as a Muslim Derwish, participate in the Pilgrimage to Mecca and Al- Madinah, and came back alive. But he was the exception to the rule, and he did not try to infiltrate a terrorist organization that expects infiltration attempts. INTENTIONS AND MOTIVATIONS "The people of Islam awakened and realized that they are the main target for the aggression of the Zionist-Crusaders alliance. All false claims and propaganda about "Human Rights" were hammered down and exposed by the massacres that took place against the Muslims in every part of the world. The latest and the greatest of these aggressions, incurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (ALLAH'S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places" (Source: A DECLARATION OF WAR, by Osama Bin Laden. http://msanews.mynet.net//MSANEWS/199610/19961012.3.html) A growing group of Islamic scholars and activists feel that the military installations of the United States in Saudi Arabia represent a hostile foreign invasion into their holy land. They believe that the three most holy places in the Islamic world, Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, are occupied by Zionists and Christian crusaders. They also believe that most Muslim nations are victims of neo-colonialist exploitation by the capitalist western world. A holy war, Jihad, was declared in 1996 to struggle against exploitation and occupation. In 1998 a Fatwah was declared by Sheikh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt, Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, Egyptian Islamic Group, Sheikh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan and Fazlul Rahman, amir of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh. This Fatwah reconfirms the holy war against Israel, the US and its allies. A quote from this Fatwah: "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God." (Source: World Islamic Front Statement 23 February 1998, http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/980223-fatwa.htm) Safar Ibn `Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hawali, an important Islamic scholar and ideologue and highly regarded by Osama Bin Ladin, recently wrote a book, The Day of Wrath, describing various biblical prophecies. He describes, among other things: "The attributes of the victorious army, the collapse of the Zionist forces and the fate of the strategic ally of the Zionist state (United States)." He states that the beginning of the new era will be with the announcement of Jihad. And goes on to say that: "It is futile for the enemies of Allah to compete with Him in weapons!" and "On the other hand, as if at the signal of a trumpet, the Palestinian refugees return to their homes, and after the great battle is over the Muslims, especially those from Egypt and Iraq, are called to the Holy Land to visit its sanctuary and spend time in worship within its environs." He goes on to speculate that the reconquest of Jerusalem will take place in 2012. True or not, we cannot deny the fact that the organizers of this Jihad believe they are part of this prophecy, and believe that their struggle will ultimately be successful. This has given them great moral strength, perseverance, and willingness to sacrifice. NEXT TARGETS We should be prepared for the possibility that the WTC bombing is only the beginning of a new era of warfare. This group has shown repeatedly what their capabilities are. They have been given no reasons to stop their Jihad; the US still has military bases in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem is still occupied by the Israeli's, and the western world is still perceived to be implementing its systems of neo-colonialist exploitation on most, if not all, Muslim nations. Any future targets of violence by this group are likely to be of greater symbolic and material value than the WTC tragedy. Destruction of the Vatican in Rome comes to mind immediately. The radical Islamists consider the Catholic church to be corrupt, and its destruction would cause a complete loss of morale for many people in the Western world. The White House is an obvious target, as is Tel Aviv, the European Parliament in Brussels and other centres of power. Additionally they may target military targets, such as NATO headquarters, the Menwith Hill spy base in the UK, and similar sites around the world. In an interview Osama Bin Ladin expressed that it is his religious duty to obtain weapons of mass destruction. We cannot discard the possibility of a terrorist attack on a city with biological or even nuclear weapons. THE SOLUTION ? A solution is unlikely to come up anytime soon. The allies of the US and Israel will most likely respond with violence, instead of analyzing the causes of this movement. The Western focus seems to be to eradicate these terrorist movements through violence and prosecution, by implementing stronger intelligence systems and implementing additional internal security systems. President Bush has already stated that he will attack any nation that harbors and protects terrorists. Thereby laying the groundwork for acts of war that are likely to be highly inaccurate, causing many civilian casualties. If the history of the Middle East gives any indication, we can speculate that violence will be answered by more violence and aggression. Retaliation is at best the wrong answer, at worst it could be a catastrophic mistake. The start of a solution would be to look at the causes that have created this violent movement. Why are so many Muslims upset with the Western world and Israel ? Why have they been driven into a position where the only answer they perceive possible in their struggle is unprecedented violence and aggression ? Why do they feel cheated, raped and abused by the western worlds military and capitalist system ? Why do they not trust the US and Europe at the negotiating table, and instead see them as targets for terrorist strikes ? We must go back into history, and realize which mistakes have been made by our nations. We must recognize our total lack of respect and appreciation for anything different than the modern western system of democracy and capitalism. Only then will we arrive at some answers that could lead us to an end of this Jihad. This is highly unlikely to happen though and therefore the situation will likely get worse before it gets better. Sources: Frontline - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/ A declaration of war from Usama Bin Laden - http://msanews.mynet.net//MSANEWS/199610/19961012.3.html World Islamic Front Statement - http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/wif.htm The DAY of WRATH - http://home.swbell.net/jhaidar/0_preface.htm Foreign Terrorist Organizations - http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/fto_1999.html The next presidents terrorism policy - http://www.terrorism.com/analysis/TerrorismPolicy.pdf The Use of Force in Response to Terrorism - http://www.terrorism.com/terrorism/Force.shtml WMD TERRORISM AND USAMA BIN LADEN - http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/binladen.htm Suitcase Nuclear Devices - http://www.prop1.org/2000/suitcase.htm CNN - http://www.cnn.com Hezbollah by Hala Jaber - Columbia Univ Pr; ISBN: 0231108346 A pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah by R. Burton - AES; ISBN 81-206-0903-4 Gideons Spies by Gordon Thomas - Pan Books; ISBN: 033037537 The Fateful Triangle by Noam Chomski - Pluto press; ISBN: 0745315305 Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk - Oxford University Press; ISBN: 019285284-1 The terrorism reader by David J. Whittaker - Routledge; ISBN: 0-415-22134-X
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