‘Loss Sings’: Translating Grief

On the face of it, Loss Sings claims to be fifteen translations of al-Khansā, a much celebrated Arabian poet of the seventh century whose threnodic poems commemorate the loss of her two brothers in battle. Prof. James E Montgomery has translated the fifteen poems elegantly in this brief thirty-seven-page booklet. I… Read more“‘Loss Sings’: Translating Grief”

Jihad according to Abdullah Azzam

Abstract Dr. Abdullah Azzam is widely seen both by security analysts and Jihadists as the father of Global Jihad. Dr. Thomas Hegghammer for example, who is soon to publish an important biography on Abdullah Azzam argues that his ‘Palestinianess’ certainly shaped his world view and pulled him towards transnational jihadism…. Read more“Jihad according to Abdullah Azzam”

The Bosnian Jihad: An interview with Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros

Abstract  Here is an interview of  Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros or Barbarossa (named after his red beard and Khayreddine, the naval commander and greek privateer of the Ottoman empire). He is also known as Abdul Rahman al-Dosari, he fought in Afghanistan in the 80s after Abdullah Azzam called for recruits… Read more“The Bosnian Jihad: An interview with Abu Abdel Aziz Barbaros”

The Problem with Abu Bakr, Osama Bin Laden and Zarqawi: An explanation of Arabic names

Writing about and covering Muslim jihadi militancy for more than half a decade now, I realise that Westerners, analysts, journalists or otherwise find Arab names extremely difficult to grasp. One of the questions I have been asked countless times by the uninitiated is: why is every single Jihadi militant named… Read more“The Problem with Abu Bakr, Osama Bin Laden and Zarqawi: An explanation of Arabic names”

An Interview with Umm Mohammed: The Wife of Bin laden’s Spiritual Mentor Abdullah Azzam

For the forthcoming book, To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan by Abdullah Anas and Tam Hussein, (Hurst), 2019, I thought I would add materials that are useful for those who are interested in this seminal period in the history of global jihadism. Below is an article I… Read more“An Interview with Umm Mohammed: The Wife of Bin laden’s Spiritual Mentor Abdullah Azzam”

Into the Heart of Darkness: Working Notes on Three ISIS Jihadists.

Raqqah has fallen. There are many jihadists who will look at this loss with a sense of bitterness. Some foreign fighters are pragmatic. Is the Jihad over? “It goes on” they say, “till the Day of Judgment.” For some though the fall of Raqqah isn’t good news. From the earth… Read more“Into the Heart of Darkness: Working Notes on Three ISIS Jihadists.”

Review: Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan 2001-2014 by Theo Farrel

The 9/11 attacks gave birth to a Manichean world which is, as I write this, being played out in Syria and Iraq amongst other places. With this world in mind and the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, Professor Theo Farrel’s Unwinnable is a timely reminder of the consequences of the War on… Read more“Review: Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan 2001-2014 by Theo Farrel”