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”

Dealing with Syria’s Foreign Fighters: A Liberal Conundrum – an Update

Abstract: The recent arrest of Alexanda Kotey and  El Shafee Elsheikh, the two British Jihadists part of the notorious Beatles, has again raised the debate as to what should be done with Jihadists returning to Europe.  Should they be sent to Guantanamo? Should they be kept where they were caught… Read more“Dealing with Syria’s Foreign Fighters: A Liberal Conundrum – an Update”

Problems in the Caliphate: The Issue of Authority 

Abstract: For Muslims in the West especially those who become militant, the question of authority or the lack of it, is an important question. I will use the story of Aine Davis to illustrate some of these issues that young Muslims are grappling with. Case Study: Aine Davis It always… Read more“Problems in the Caliphate: The Issue of Authority “

Paradise Lost: The Rise and Fall of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

I entered Najiyeh, a small town of no consequence, without their permission. The town claimed to be an ISIS principality. The claim seemed ridiculous but as we drove in to the town it seemed less so. They had fixed the prices, the markets were bustling, even the gold shops were… Read more“Paradise Lost: The Rise and Fall of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”

Fading contrasts in the future of global Jihadism: Military strength driven by perceptive tolerance

What follows is Part II of an interview about the Sharia with Al-Maqalaat by Tam Hussein @tamhussein. Part I can be found here The Dawn of Islamic Theocracy: Monumental Sacrifice for Consistent Stability. Background Context of this discourse began when the interviewer tweeted an interesting article, Stoning and Hand Cutting-… Read more“Fading contrasts in the future of global Jihadism: Military strength driven by perceptive tolerance”

What happened to ‘Man like Fatlum?’: The inside Story of the British Suicide Bomber of Ramadi

Tourists and bohemians love rummaging through the stalls on Portobello Road with its shimmering trinkets and shaggy clothes fit for an art student. To the locals it’s a “joke ting” , a skank to bring tourists from all over the world to sample the latest authentic “efnik” fad. Down the road on… Read more“What happened to ‘Man like Fatlum?’: The inside Story of the British Suicide Bomber of Ramadi”

The Arabs at War in Afghanistan: From the Cradle of the Jalalabad School of Jihad to Syria and Iraq

By Tam Hussein @tamhussein The Arabs at War in Afghanistan questions the foundational myths of the Afghan Jihad which touched a generation of Muslim men growing up in the 90s. It is told by one of the earliest Afghan Arabs, Mustafa Hamid who joined the warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani against the… Read more“The Arabs at War in Afghanistan: From the Cradle of the Jalalabad School of Jihad to Syria and Iraq”

Fathi Warfali: A Democrat who Sought Martyrdom in the Fields of Afghanistan.

Mr. Fathi Warfali is one of Libya’s earliest and youngest political activists and hails from a pedigreed religious and scholarly family from Bani Walid. At sixteen he joined the nascent Islamic movement in Libya. Despite being a committed democrat he decided like many of his generation to join the Mujahideen… Read more“Fathi Warfali: A Democrat who Sought Martyrdom in the Fields of Afghanistan.”

The Human Nature of Jihadism- an interview with al-Maqālāt

Here begins a series of interviews and dialogues with al-Maqālāt who describes himself as “an independent media outlet”.  He tweets under @Al_Maqal_Ps. The reader will find that the interviewees attitudes and views are useful because he encapsulates a certain outlook which serves as a useful barometer for how some Salafi-Jihadists… Read more“The Human Nature of Jihadism- an interview with al-Maqālāt”