World View: Jihadists from New York to Uzbekistan Flock to Syria to Fight
- 'Catastrophic' bombing in Jos Nigeria kills 118
- FBI says that Americans are going to Syria for jihad
- Militants from Russia, Central Asia join Jamaat Sabiri to fight in Syria
- Use of social media to recruit jihadists
'Catastrophic' bombing in Jos Nigeria kills 118
Two car bombs exploded in a busy market in Jos, a city in central
Nigeria. The first explosion went off at 3:28 pm in the center of the
market, and the second followed about 14 minutes later. The attack
was meant to cause as many casualties as possible. The victims were
ordinary people, both Christians and Muslims.
The terrorist group Boko Haram has not yet claimed responsibility, but
they are believed to be responsible. Boko Haram appears to have
declared total war against Nigeria -- abducting hundreds of
schoolgirls and exploding one car bomb after another in different
parts of the country. Nigeria's government and president Goodluck
Jonathan appear to be helpless to stop the attacks. PM News Nigeria and CNN
FBI says that Americans are going to Syria for jihad
New research indicates that some 11,000 foreign fighters from around
the world have traveled to Syria to join al-Qaeda-linked Sunni
terrorists fighting the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad,
who is fighting a war of extermination against his own Sunni Muslim
population. About 3,000 have come from Western Europe, and on Tuesday
the FBI indicated that more than 100 of them are Americans.
Furthermore, the problem has been "metastasizing rapidly," as more and
more young, disaffected Sunni Muslims go to the "jihadist magnet" for
training and experience.
I've been writing about this for well over a year, and it's been a bit
of a puzzle about why this very serious problem has been ignored by
the mainstream media. Probably the simple answer is that much of the
media acts as a mouthpiece for President Obama, who has declared that
the war against terrorism is over, and so mentioning Americans going to
Syria for jihad training would make Obama look bad. As far as
Europe is concerned, one analyst says,
"[T]hat’s because some on the left in Britain and
elsewhere have been busy downplaying the conflict or romanticizing
it as something akin to the international brigades during the
Spanish Civil War that attracted George Orwell and other
idealists. But unlike Orwell in the 1930s, these fighters on their
way to Syria are not traveling to fight against fascists. Many are
young Western Muslims rushing to join a fascist group that is too
extreme even for al-Qaeda: the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham
(ISIS). Members have been known to behead even fellow
fighters. And it’s not much consolation that the more 'moderate'
volunteers are joining, Jabhat al-Nusra, which is the official
Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria."
American intelligence officials believe that among the dozens of
Americans who have gone to Syria to fight, six to twelve or more have
already returned to America and may be planning terrorist attacks
here. In addition, European citizens from countries that have visa waivers
can easily travel to the United States. Daily Beast and ICSR, King's College London and Daily Beast (4/27)
Militants from Russia, Central Asia join Jamaat Sabiri to fight in Syria
A new militant jihadist group, Jamaat Sabiri, is raising concern in
Uzbekistan in Central Asia because it's recruiting central Asians to
fight alongside al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in Syria. The group's core
is made up of jihadists from countries in Central Asia, as well
as Russians from Chechnya and Dagestan. An Uzbek government official
points out that militants seeking to join the Syrian war have been
streaming into Syria by different routes, including via Pakistan and
"[Transporting militants into Syria] isn't a simple
operation, so there are some major players who work out the
details and provide funding and protection...
We've been seeking to find out via our channels what Uzbeks are
fighting on the terrorists' side. New reinforcements mostly
consist of ethnic Uzbeks born in Osh Oblast, Kyrgyzstan, where
recruiters are active and where there's an extensive network of
informal and unregistered Islamic groups ostensibly studying the
Koran. We actively co-operate with our Kyrgyz colleagues on that
This is a new direction for Uzbek militants, made possible by the war
in Syria. In 2009 ("Islamist Uzbeks lead terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan"), I
wrote about the growth of al-Qaeda0linked Islamic Movement of
Uzbekistan (IMU), centered in the Fergana Valley, where Osh
is located, and its plan for global jihadism. At that time,
the IMU was linked with al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan
My 2009 article included a brief generational history of Uzbekistan,
with a focus on the ancient conflicts along the fault line separating
ethnic Uzbeks and ethnic Russians. Now that fault line is flaring
again, as jihadist Central Asians and jihadist Russians are joining
forces in Syria, in the form of a new jihadist group, Jamaat Sabiri.
And all of these jihadists have a common enemy: ethnic Russians. A
prime motivator of Jamaat Sabiri would be the fact that Russia's
president Vladimir Putin is providing an unlimited supply of heavy
weapons to genocidal monster Bashar al-Assad to be used in his war
crimes against Sunni Muslim women and children. They're undoubtedly
already planning massive terrorist attacks in Moscow and other large
It's too late for the West to do anything about Syria now, even if it
had the will. Syria is already too far down the road to be
helped or to keep it from triggering the massive sectarian war that
will encompass the entire Mideast. I believe that the West could have
taken out al-Assad in 2011 and done the world a big favor.
But there's no excuse for the actions of Putin. Putin has
single-handedly created the what is currently the greatest disaster in
the world and has no desire to stop.
Putin appears to me a man with the worst nihilistic impulses, and at
times like this I like to quote Edith Hamilton's book The Greek
Way and her translation of the speech of Aeschylus's tragic
"There is no torture and no cunning trick,
There is no force that can compel my speech. ...
So let [Zeus] hurl his blazing thunderbolt,
And with the white wings of snow,
With lightning and with earthquake,
Confound the reeling world.
None of this will bend my will. ...
Seek to persuade the sea wave not to break.
You will persuade me no more easily."
Prometheus refuses to listen, and the universe crashes around him.
Central Asia Online
Use of social media to recruit jihadists
A new report entitled "Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of
Online Extremism and How to Counter It" describes the role that
extremist materials online play in the radicalization process that's
sued to recruit jihadists. According to the report:
- The vast majority of radicalized individuals come into contact
with extremist ideology through offline socialization prior to being
indoctrinated online. This challenges popular discourse about 'lone
wolf' actors radicalized solely through the Internet.
- Although governments are increasingly relying on censorship and
filtering methods to counter online extremism, this report found that
negative measures, or censorship in general, was not only ineffective
and costly but also potentially counter-productive.
The report recommends developing "counter-extremist" materials and
publishing them online to challenge extremist ideologies. Quilliam Foundation
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Jos, Nigeria, Boko Haram, Goodluck Jonathan,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Vladimir Putin,
Jamaat Sabiri, Uzbekistan, Dagestan, Chechnya,
Kyrgyzstan, Osh, Fergana Valley, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,
Edith Hamilton, Aeschylus, Prometheus, Quilliam
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