Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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Role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Inspiring Islamist Violence Goes Back Decades
A new document by the West Point Combating Terrorism Centerexamines the 1,600 page Islamist treastise by veteran jihadi thinker, propagandist, and historian Abu Mus’ab al-Suri. Published in 2005, the jihadi document lists 25 “paradigmatic jihadi movements,” or
particularly edifying historical cases, where jihadis have both succeeded and failed to rally supporters, defeat their opposition, or establish territorial control.

The CTC document examines four of the jihadi movements that al Suri, who was attempting to write the definitive jihadi cirriculum for the coming generation. What is particularly interesting is that even the more obsucre groups discussed all have ties back to the international Islamic Brotherhood, some to the late 1960s.

The Haraka al-Shabiba in Morocco, though little known and enjoying almost no success during its brief existence in 1969, drew almost all of its inspiration from the writings of Sayyid Qutb and Hasan al Banna, the Brotherhood's two most influential thinkers.

What I find most intersting is the perserverance of the ideology and theology of these men that spreads through every Islamist movement. While it is clear that Al Qaeda, Hamas and other more modern Islamist movements (GSPC etc.) drew much of their inspiration and thought from the _ikwan_, I was unfamiliar with the earlier groups and movements that all form the mosaic of what jihad today has become. It is clear that the most violent interpretation of the words of the Brotherhood thinkers was accepted and acted on early on.

Just as many Islamists like to portray _jihad_ as an inner spiritual struggle despite the clear historical evidence that it was considered primarily (or at least equally) a justification for violence from the earliest days of Islam, many also try to portray the more radical interpretation of the _ikwan_ statements as a more recent, perhaps erroneous interpretation. But it is not.

The teachings of al Banna and Qutb are clear and unequivocal in their call to rebuild the caliphate and attack unbelievers. This is _jihad_ as warfare, and understood as such from the very beginning.

That is one of the interesting ways people like Tariq Ramadan, Sami al Arian and ohters try to evade responsibility for what they teach and believe. They try to pass off the real interpretation of their texts as figments of the imagination of people in the West who do not grasp the nuances of Islam. But there are no nuances there. Al Suri understood that, which is why he was able to identify the _jihadist_ movements so effectively that led to the creation of al Qaeda and beyond.

Al Qaeda's Growing Danger in Northern Africa
Al Qaeda Letter Shows Discrepancies in Jihadi Movement, Points to Role of Brotherhood
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