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5/1/2011 “Retracting” – Using Ideological Means for the Purposes of De-Radicalization

ICT's Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group

Recently, we have been witnessing a new phenomenon – key figures in the Islamic world, who in the past took part in armed Jihad or at least ideologically supported it, are now working to counter the radicalization process and to minimize recruitment to terrorist organizations. This phenomenon is known as “retraction”.
This phenomenon of “retraction” reflects a targeted effort, particularly on the part of authorities within the Muslim world, to harness the Islamic sources being used for radical indoctrination and to instead employ them as tools for fighting Islamic extremism.
The de-radicalization process is not new. Throughout the Muslim world, there are and have been rehabilitation programs, some of which are controversial as to their degree of success. For example, over the last two years, a de-radicalization process has taken place in Libya, led by Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, resulting in the LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) organization declaring its abandonment of the path of Jihad. At this point in time, however, it is still too early to estimate the success of the de-radicalization process in Libya or how this process will impact Al-Qaeda's conduct and activities in the Maghreb.
The following document gives examples of the “retraction” phenomenon.

30/12/2010 The IHH: Humanitarianism, Terrorism, and Policy Ambiguities

A.E. Stahl and Sheena Reiss

This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the IHH, its humanitarian structure, its links to terrorism (documented and alleged) and their involvement on the Mavi Marmara.

16/12/2010 The Jihadi Dialogue following the Terrorist Attack in Stockholm

ICT's Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group

Two explosions shook the center of Stockholm, the Swedish capital, on December 11th 2010. At first, a car bomb detonated in one of the main streets of the city. Several minutes later, a suicide bomber blew himself up. As a result of the explosion, the terrorist was killed and a number of people were injured.
A short time before the explosions, the Swedish TT news agency received a threatening letter mentioning Sweden’s military presence in Afghanistan and the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, published five years ago in the Swedish press.
This attack, considered to be the first suicide attack in Scandinavia, aroused a widespread wave of responses on the Jihadi forums. The forum participants praised the attack, even though it did not result in any casualties, and called for a continuation of attacks on European soil.
This document aims to summarize the main points in the leading Jihadi forums, following the terrorist attack in Sweden.

16/11/2010 The Return of the Militants: Violent Dissident Republicanism

Dr. Martyn Frampton

The Report has been provided by courtesy of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR)

This report deals with dissident republican groups in Northern Ireland – such as the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA, who continued to oppose the peace process, and have grown stronger. The report provides a timeline of  dissident activity, an introduction to each dissident group, examines the relationships they have with each other, and asks what their aims are. Drawing on the expert testimony of former security service personnel, Dr. Frampton looks at some of the problems faced by those whose job it is to deal with the threat – in a greatly altered security environment – and discusses possible responses to the revival of violent republicanism.

11/10/2010 Yemen: The Campaign against Global Jihad - Situation Report and Directions of Development

ICT's Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group

The struggle raging between global Jihad activists and the Yemeni regime poses a great question mark over the Yemeni government's ability to cope with these developments, and increases fear of greater control over the country by the Jihadists.
The scenario of Jihadist control is not unrealistic and if it occurs, there will be a control/influence continuity on various levels of the terrorist organizations in Iraq, Yemen and Somalia – a scenario that may also affect the international shipping routes in Aden Bay, and later on along the Somalia coast, turning the region into an area of piracy and terrorist organizations' activity.
The connection between the Yemeni Jihadi infrastructure and two terrorist attacks against the United States (the attack at the Texas military base carried out by Nidal Malek Hassan in November 2009, and the failed attempt to blow up an American passenger plane in December 2009) have moved the danger arising from the Yemeni infrastructure into the spotlight and drawn international attention.
This document aims to present an analysis of the recent trends in Yemen while mapping the state of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and the Jihadi dialogue surrounding the situation in Yemen, in view of the developments in the local and international theaters.

28/9/2010 Assessing the Terrorist Threat

Peter Bergen and Bruce Hoffman

First published by the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group

Al-Qaeda and allied groups continue to pose a threat to the United States. Although it is less severe than the catastrophic proportions of a 9/11-like attack, the threat today is more complex and more diverse than at any time over the past nine years. Al-Qaeda or its allies continue to have the capacity to kill dozens, or even hundreds, of Americans in a single attack. A key shift in the past couple of years is the increasingly prominent role in planning and operations that U.S. citizens and residents have played in the leadership of al-Qaeda and aligned groups, and the higher numbers of Americans attaching themselves to these groups. Another development is the increasing diversification of the types of U.S.-based jihadist militants, and the groups with which those militants have affiliated. Indeed, these jihadists do not fit any particular ethnic, economic, educational, or social profile.

Al-Qaeda’s ideological influence on other jihadist groups is on the rise in South Asia and has continued to extend into countries like Yemen and Somalia; al-Qaeda’s top leaders are still at large, and American overreactions to even unsuccessful terrorist attacks arguably have played, however inadvertently, into the hands of the jihadists. Working against al-Qaeda and allied groups are the ramped-up campaign of drone attacks in Pakistan, increasingly negative Pakistani attitudes and actions against the militants based on their territory, which are mirrored by increasingly hostile attitudes toward al-Qaeda and allied groups in the Muslim world in general, and the fact that erstwhile militant allies have now also turned against al-Qaeda.

This report is based on interviews with a wide range of senior U.S. counterterrorism officials at both the federal and local levels, and embracing the policy, intelligence, and law enforcement communities, supplemented by the authors’ own research.

21/9/2010 Calls to Perpetrate Terror Attacks in Spain During September 2010

ICT's Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group

During the first half of September 2010, a call appeared on the “Atahadi” Jihadi forum, made by one of the surfers to the members of the forum, to attack nuclear installations, which are spread all over Spain, within the framework of what he terms the “Andalus Invasion”.
The responses to this call were diverse. Some of the surfers praised the idea, but others expressed their reservations, stating that attacking the nuclear installations could harm the Mujahideen themselves.
In response to this posting, one of the surfers wrote that such an attack would have to be perpetrated no later than the 24 September 2010. He also proposed, as an additional or alternative target, to attack Barcelona, as this city has very convenient transport, particularly the metro.

25/8/2010 Collective Suicide

Tushar Ranjan Mohanty

In a daring suicide attack barely a hundred yards from the Frontier Constabulary (FC) Headquarters in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, formerly the North West Frontier Province), a 15-year-old boy blew himself up, killing the FC chief, Sifwat Ghayoor, along with three of his bodyguards on August 4, 2010. Another eleven persons were injured in the attack. Police said that about 10 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast.

9/8/2010 A New Composite Global Terrorism Threat to Western Societies from Pakistan? Making Sense of the January 2008 Suicide Bomb Plot in Barcelona (WP)

Fernando Reinares

The foiled January 2008 plot against the metro in Barcelona evidenced both the polymorphous character of post‐9/11 global terrorism and the composite nature of the main threat it seems to pose in the West. The thwarted attacks suggest a mixture of foreign extremists coming from the country which then as now occupies a central locus in the cartography of global terrorism, that is to say Pakistan, and first‐generation immigrants in the West –who nevertheless may travel often and for rather long periods of time to their homeland‐‐ turned into extremists.

First published as a working paper by the Elcano Royal Institute.

8/8/2010 Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for the attack on a Western sea vessel in the region of the Strait of Hormuz

ICT's Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group

On July 28th 2010 an explosion occurred on a Japanese oil tanker near the entrance to the Persian Gulf. One sailor was lightly injured as a result of the explosion. The “M Star” tanker, loaded with nearly two million barrels of oil, was on its way to Chiba Port near Tokyo when the explosion occurred as the vessel entered the Strait of Hormuz, close to Oman. The Strait of Hormuz, connecting the Persian Gulf and Oman, is considered to be one of the most important routes in the world. Close to 40% of the world’s oil supply passes through this strait. After a few days of speculation regarding the origin of the explosion, the Jihadi forums announced on August 4th 2010 that the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.

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