The Middle East Channel

Voice of terror

In the winter of 2004, a treatise called da’wat al-muqawamah al-Islamiyyah al-alamiyya (The Call of Global Islamic Resistance) first appeared on jihadi forums. The 1,600-page document, written by al Qaeda’s arch-strategist Abu Musab al-Suri, called for a radical restructuring of global jihadism. Suri, having observed that the post-9/11 era was distinctly uncharitable toward organized and ...

SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images
SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images

In the winter of 2004, a treatise called da'wat al-muqawamah al-Islamiyyah al-alamiyya (The Call of Global Islamic Resistance) first appeared on jihadi forums. The 1,600-page document, written by al Qaeda's arch-strategist Abu Musab al-Suri, called for a radical restructuring of global jihadism. Suri, having observed that the post-9/11 era was distinctly uncharitable toward organized and hierarchical jihadi groups, wanted to transform al Qaeda into a diffuse international movement connected mainly through Islamic solidarity and ideology.

The terrorist network, Suri had already written in 2000, "is not an organization.… It is a call, a reference, a methodology." Accordingly, he now recommended that al Qaeda focus on projecting its ideas and solutions around the globe. By encouraging this new, decentralized version of al Qaeda, Suri hoped to see the creation of numerous "self-starter" individuals and terrorist cells with no organizational connections to the group. These self-starters, he hoped, would be just as eager to kill as any well-trained terrorist and would also be better protected from detection by enemy security services.

Read more.

In the winter of 2004, a treatise called da’wat al-muqawamah al-Islamiyyah al-alamiyya (The Call of Global Islamic Resistance) first appeared on jihadi forums. The 1,600-page document, written by al Qaeda’s arch-strategist Abu Musab al-Suri, called for a radical restructuring of global jihadism. Suri, having observed that the post-9/11 era was distinctly uncharitable toward organized and hierarchical jihadi groups, wanted to transform al Qaeda into a diffuse international movement connected mainly through Islamic solidarity and ideology.

The terrorist network, Suri had already written in 2000, "is not an organization.… It is a call, a reference, a methodology." Accordingly, he now recommended that al Qaeda focus on projecting its ideas and solutions around the globe. By encouraging this new, decentralized version of al Qaeda, Suri hoped to see the creation of numerous "self-starter" individuals and terrorist cells with no organizational connections to the group. These self-starters, he hoped, would be just as eager to kill as any well-trained terrorist and would also be better protected from detection by enemy security services.

Read more.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens is a P.h.D candidate and research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London.

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