June 21, 2011 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 698

Al-Qaeda Military Strategist Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri's Teachings on Fourth-Generation Warfare (4GW), Individual Jihad and the Future of Al-Qaeda

June 21, 2011 | By Steven Stalinsky*
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 698

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri – General Background
  • Al-Suri – A Model for Followers of Al-Qaeda in the West
  • Al-Suri's Blueprint for the Next Generation of Al-Qaeda
  • Teaching Lessons On Jihad to Young Al-Qaeda Followers In the Classroom
  • Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri on YouTube
  • An Al-Qaeda Recruitment Guide Based On Al-Suri's Teachings
  • Al-Qaeda Embraces 4GW:
    *Al-Suri in Issue No. 1 of Inspire – "The Schools of Jihad"
    *Al-Suri in Issue No. 2 of Inspire – "The Open Fronts & The Individual Initiative"
    *Al-Suri in Issue No. 4 of Inspire – "The Military Theory of Open Fronts"
    *Al-Suri in Issue No. 5 of Inspire – "Individual Terrorism Jihad and the Global Islamic Resistance Units"
    *Al-Suri in the Upcoming Issue No. 6 of Inspire – "Practical Steps for Partaking in Individual Jihad"
  • Al-Suri's Teachings: The Source of Al-Qaeda's 4GW Teachings
  • The Impact of Al-Suri's Strategic Theory on Al-Qaeda's Future
  • Appendix I: Four Articles by Al-Suri from Inspire
  • Appendix II: Articles by Al-Suri To Be Expected in Future Issues of Inspire
  • Appendix III: Al-Suri on YouTube


On July 1, 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the first edition of its English-language online magazine Inspire. The magazine, a slickly produced propaganda document, represents an effort to engage the English-language world and to recruit English-speaking Muslims to join the cause of jihad.

Inspire's primary message to its readers is that they too can be part of Al-Qaeda and its mission, but from the comfort of their own home. Instead of traveling thousands of miles to join the jihad, the reader need only turn on their computer and visit websites to receive training – i.e. viewing videos and listening to sermons of their favorite leaders, and learning to handle weapons, explosives and even planning attacks. For example, a Q&A section in the most recent edition of Inspire includes an unnamed Muslim living in the West asking for guidance regarding the best way to join jihad and reach the jihad fronts. The magazine's answer to him, and to all readers, is: "[B]ased on your ability, you choose the target [in your home area]. Your pool of targets is large, so make sure to think of all of the available options. An example of something local, easy, and effective is attacking an army recruiting center, nightclub, highway, or busy shopping mall."

Five issues of Inspire have now been released. They include multiple article series focusing on different aspects of jihad of vital interest to Al-Qaeda recruits and potentials recruits. One series, "The Jihad Experience," by Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri, has appeared in four of the magazine's issues, and Inspire No. 5 offers a preview of the next chapter, to be published in the upcoming Inspire No. 6.

Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri – General Background

Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri, 53, is one of Al-Qaeda's most prominent ideologues and strategists. Born Mustafa bin 'Abd Al-Qader Setmariam Nassar, he has multiple aliases, among them 'Umar 'Abd Al-Hakim. As a member of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, he was exiled from Syria in 1982 after the clash between the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and president Hafez Al-Assad.

His past in the ranks of the jihad includes close ties to Abdullah Azzam, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to name a few. At various times, he has been affiliated with, or officially a member of, the Muslim Brotherhood, the GIA (Armed Islamic Group of Algeria), the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda.

Al-Suri is also known as a trailblazer in jihadist media. In 1997, he was a founder of the media company called the Islamic Conflict Studies Bureau.[1] Al-Suri and the Islamic Conflict Studies Bureau are believed to be responsible for delivering Al-Qaeda videotapes to foreign news media. He is also known for having arranged multiple interviews for Osama bin Laden with the Western media while he resided in Britain.[2] He was an editor of Al-Ansar magazine, which promoted the insurgency in Algeria and was aligned with the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, and, according to his wife, Helena Moreno, had "worked in the Taliban Ministry of Information as a consultant."[3]

The U.S. government's "wanted" and "captured" posters for Al-Suri

The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center's 2011 calendar lists Al-Suri as an "Al-Qaeda propagandist and trainer, indicted in Spain for his role in the Madrid train bombings in 2004, and [who] was arrested in Pakistan." A February 15, 2011 posting on the jihadi forum Shumukh Al-Islam revealed that Al-Suri is being held at a Syrian military intelligence prison in Damascus. The post stated that Al-Suri was brought to a Damascus prison on February 7, 2011.[5] This follows a June 11, 2009 report in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, also stating that Al-Suri was being held by Syria, and that it was his defense lawyers who had revealed his whereabouts – which had been unknown since his 2005 arrest in Quetta, Pakistan. According to sources, Al-Suri had been imprisoned in Guantanamo between 2005 and 2011.[6] Prior to that, the U.S. government offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest. His wanted poster was subsequently removed from the State Department's Reward for Justice website, in 2005.[7]

Al-Suri – A Model for Followers of Al-Qaeda in the West

For numerous reasons, Al-Suri can be seen as a model for jihadists in the West. First, as a fair-skinned, blue-eyed redhead, it is easy for him to blend in to European or American surroundings (in fact, one of his aliases is El Rubio – "the blond one" in Spanish).[8] He has Spanish citizenship, and his wife, Helena Moreno, is a Spanish convert to Islam. Al-Suri has lived in several Western countries and understands Western culture. He was involved with Da'wa – Islamic outreach to non-Muslims in an attempt to convert them – and his wife has described him as someone "who wanted to build bridges and open dialogue with non-Muslims." She also explained that she was an atheist when she met him but that a few weeks later she converted to Islam and they were married.[9]

Al-Suri's Blueprint for the Next Generation of Al-Qaeda

From 2001, when the U.S. put a bounty on him, until his capture in 2005, Al-Suri wrote prolifically, including thousands of pages detailing his philosophy for a post 9/11 world. In 2004, he published online the 1,600-page "The Global Islamic Resistance Call," which laid the foundations for the current generation of followers of Al-Qaeda in the West who would be willing to engage in jihadi activities without leaving their home countries, and with little or no contact with the organization. His book provided steps to launch jihad without the need to attend a training camp; indeed, he was one of the first to grasp the Internet's potential for replacing the training camp. "The Global Islamic Resistance Call" (which was republished in Inspire magazine and can be found later in this report) outlines strategies for future jihadists, with an emphasis on unorganized cells and leaderless Jihad. Portions of his lectures also showed up on the Internet and were circulated by jihadists on DVD for the past few years.

"The Global Islamic Resistance Call"

Even after his arrest, multiple attacks in the West were attributed to Al-Suri. While no direct evidence has emerged to formally connect him to the 2004 train bombings in Madrid or the 2006 train bombings in London, many counterterrorism officials referred to him as a guiding force behind them.[10] Lone-wolf attacks, such as those by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and Roshonara Choudry, who stabbed a British MP, are in line with Al-Suri's teachings.

Al-Suri has been described in the media as “one of the most important contrarians and theorist-practitioners in the history of Al-Qaeda. If bin Laden's lieutenant, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, is analogous to V.I. Lenin, Al-Suri is the jihadist Leon Trotsky: eager to pick a doctrinal fight and inject a reformist current into Al-Qaeda's operations."[11]

In a message attributed to Al-Suri and posted online after his capture, he boasted: "I have in me a joy stronger than the joy of the farmer who sees the harvest of his fruits after a long planting and efforts and patience throughout decades of building."[12]

Teaching Lessons On Jihad To Young Al-Qaeda Followers in the Classroom

Al-Suri taught and trained Al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan in the year 2000. His main strategy was to educate a younger generation of Al-Qaeda followers in the methods for building successful, autonomous cells for "individualized terrorism." He set up his own training camp and a series of videos from his lectures there can be found on leading jihadist websites. In the lectures, he can be seen pointing to maps and drawing out diagrams, his vision for Al-Qaeda becoming "local cells in each country with little or no contact with an overall organization, but fighting for a common cause and under a common banner, in the name of jihad."[13]

In the videos, he is seen explaining to his students how to return to their own countries and set up their own cells. "Don't make them more than 10 people," he said: "You shouldn't expand or form too many [cells]"… "Form a cell with six people that you know, [even if] they don't know each other; in case you are caught they are all caught."[14] These small groups have been credited with helping Al-Qaeda expand and form a larger worldwide movement.

Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri on YouTube

It should come as no surprise that hundreds of Al-Suri's teaching videos have wound up on YouTube. For example, from December 29, 2010 through March 20, 2011, more than 40 videos totaling over 500 minutes were posted on the YouTube page of "hijabist," a 28-year-old in Morocco ( Many of these videos have also been posted on other jihadists' YouTube pages. (For more Al-Suri on YouTube, see Appendix III.)

Hijabist's YouTube page

An Al-Qaeda Recruitment Guide Based On Al-Suri's Teachings

In the summer of 2008, "Course in the Art of Recruiting," by a self-proclaimed student of Al-Suri, "Abu-Amr Al-Qaidi," first began to appear on jihadi websites. The 50-plus-page manual for grooming potential Al-Qaeda recruits is divided into five stages. Within a year of its release, the manual was translated into English and made its way to jihadi websites and forums frequented by Western Al-Qaeda sympathizers.[15]

The recruitment guide is dedicated to jihadists everywhere, including "the next Salafi-Jihadi generation" as well as "the Internet Mujahideen and the media Jihadi Knights." Al-Qaeda's five stages of recruitment include:

  • Stage 1: Acquaintance and Choosing
  • Stage 2: Creating a Relationship
  • Stage 3: Awakening of Faith
  • Stage 4: Planting Concepts of Jihad
  • Stage 5: The Establishment of Cells

The final stage of recruitment, according to the Al-Qaidi's guide, is when the potential recruit can be trusted by his handlers to carry out jihad. At that time they are given a copy of Al-Suri's "The Global Islamic Resistance Call." The section on the final stage reveals that "A Course in the Art of Recruiting" is actually "a stepping stone" to Al-Suri's book, which it says should be read in its entirety, but adds that certain chapters can suffice if some are too difficult for the reader to comprehend. The Al-Qaeda recruitment document concludes with a prayer for the sword of Islam to strike the necks of the enemies of Islam.

Al-Qaeda Embraces 4GW

Over the past few years, a growing number of counterterrorism officials and scholars have identified the possibility that Al-Qaeda has embraced the theory of 4GW, and of Al-Suri's role in this move.[16]

The Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies included a report in its September 3, 2010 issue about 4GW and Al-Suri. The report revealed, "[w]hile the coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have mostly stuck with third generation warfare tactics (large mechanized units, artillery and air strikes in urban areas), their opponents have been moving steadily towards a 4GW model. As early as January 2005, Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri, the ideologue of the Global Salafi Jihad, produced a doctrine called 'the global Islamic resistance call.' This doctrine called for more autonomous local leadership, with a maximal dispersion of forces and decentralizing of logistics to the point of small self-supporting units operating with the commander's consent and within the ideological frame provided by him…."[17]

Vinita Priyedarshi, a researcher at the United States Institution of India wrote an article in 2006 for the India Quarterly: A Journal of International Relations, also about 4GW and Al-Suri,[18] "The theory of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) postulates that warfare in modern era has changed, and its principle[s] are very different from the features of conventional warfare which the states have so far been engaged. The literature produced by the terrorists like Abu Musab Al-Suri's 'Call for a Global Islamic Resistance' have shown that the terrorists are fast adopting the tenets propounded by the theory of 4GW, in an attempt to build a 'global jihad.'"[19]

The Jamestown Foundation has also reported on Al-Qaeda's embrace of 4GW and Al-Suri including in a September 21, 2006 report: "Whereas in past generations operatives could rely upon their organization for operational logistics and funding, in Al-Suri's system, the logistical procurement process begins and ends with the individual jihadis… Abu Musab al-Suri has developed the most evolved interpretation of the tenets found in the fourth generation warfare doctrine. Al-Suri has further adapted these tenets and his interpretation thereof to be applicable to the Global Salafi-Jihad in a way not previously seen. Although comparable elements of Al-Suri's writings are readily found in third generation warfare, what sets Al-Suri apart is his call for the dispersal of the leadership structure and therefore the command-and-control element of the jihad. This decentralization of the decision-making element will have a profound impact on targeting, tactics and strategy. As witnessed in London, Madrid, Toronto, the Netherlands and elsewhere, jihadis are becoming decreasingly reliant upon Osama bin Laden's organization for operational guidance and for logistical procurement."[20]

In 2002, Close Associate of bin Laden Declares 4GW Part of Al-Qaeda's Military Doctrine

In 2002, during the period when Al-Suri was on the run and producing thousands of pages of writings for the next generation of Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda published the biweekly online magazine Al-Ansar: For the Struggle Against the Crusader War, with Al-Suri as one of its editors. The magazine's second issue featured an article titled "Fourth-Generation Wars" by Abu 'Ubeid Al-Qurashi, who was identified by the London Arabic-language daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi as "one of Osama bin Laden's closest aides."[21] This article, obtained and translated exclusively by MEMRI in 2002, read in part:

"These days, one is amazed at the extent of the defeatism in morale that has penetrated to the core of the [Islamic] nation. [It even] increases in light of the fact that the first to be afflicted by this ill were some clerics… One of these men spoke on a satellite TV channel about the current American offensive, explaining the shrinking [Arab and Muslim support of] the Mujahideen with a series of false claims. My attention was drawn by his claim that there is an imbalance between the strength of the Mujahideen and that of America and its allies, and that because of this imbalance there is no [point] in Jihad and no need to support [Jihad] because the matter has already been decided in America's favor. These words attest to their speakers' ignorance – first of all, in Islamic religious law, and second, in history and contemporary Western military analyses. This will become clear later [in the article]…

"In 1989, some American military experts[22] predicted a fundamental change in the future form of warfare... They predicted that the wars of the 21st century would be dominated by a kind of warfare they called 'the fourth generation of wars.' Others called it 'asymmetric warfare…'

"Fourth-generation warfare, the experts said, is a new type of war in which fighting will be mostly scattered. The battle will not be limited to destroying military targets and regular forces, but will include societies, and will [seek to] destroy popular support for the fighters within the enemy's society. In these wars, the experts stated in their article[23], 'television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.' They also noted that [in fourth-generation wars] 'the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point...'

"Other Western strategists[24] disagreed with these analyses, claiming that the new warfare would be strategically based on psychological influence and on the minds of the enemy's planners – not only on military means as in the past, but also on the use of all the media and information networks... in order to influence public opinion and, through it, the ruling elite. They claimed that the fourth-generation wars would, tactically, be small-scale, emerging in various regions across the planet against an enemy that, like a ghost, appears and disappears. The focus would be political, social, economic, and military. [It will be] international, national, tribal, and even organizations would participate (even though tactics and technology from previous generations would be used).

"This new type of war presents significant difficulties for the Western war machine, and it can be expected that [Western] armies will change fundamentally. This forecast did not arise in a vacuum – if only the cowards [among the Muslim clerics] knew that fourth-generation wars have already occurred and that the superiority of the theoretically weaker party has already been proven; in many instances, nation-states have been defeated by stateless nations.

"... [T]he Islamic nation has chalked up the most victories in a short time, in a way it has not known since the rise of the Ottoman Empire. These victories were achieved during the past twenty years, against the best armed, best trained, and most experienced armies in the world (the U.S.S.R. in Afghanistan, the U.S. in Somalia, Russia in Chechnya, and the Zionist entity in southern Lebanon) and in various arenas (mountains, deserts, hills, cities). In Afghanistan, the Mujahideen triumphed over the world's second most qualitative power at that time… Similarly, a single Somali tribe humiliated America and compelled it to remove its forces from Somalia. A short time later, the Chechen Mujahideen humiliated and defeated the Russian bear. After that, the Lebanese resistance [Hizbullah] expelled the Zionist army from southern Lebanon.

"It is true that all the victories of the past did not lead to the establishment of the winners' regime. But this is not the topic of our study. This article is aimed at investigating the purely military confrontation, due to claims regarding the imbalance between America and the Mujahideen – which makes, according to the defeatists, Jihad and victory impossible.

"Technology did not help these great armies, even though [this technology] is sufficient to destroy the planet hundreds of times over using the arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The Mujahideen proved their superiority in fourth-generation warfare using only light weaponry. They are part of the people, and hide amongst the multitudes... Thus, Michael Pickers said[25], 'Many of our means are unsuited to this type of warfare.'

"Also with regard to the order of battle, there is much to say… [Al-Qurashi expands upon the numerical inferiority of Islamic forces in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Somalia]. Thus, it appears that there are precedents for world powers and large countries being defeated by [small] units of Mujahideen over the past two decades, despite the great difference between the two sides. Therefore, the doubts cast by this coward [cleric] are shattered.

"Some may object [to this analysis], claiming that all those wars involved encounters between homogenous nations and invading armies – and therefore they cannot serve as examples for Al-Qaeda, which fights outside its land, sometimes in a hostile environment.

"I will respond to this counter-claim: First of all, Al-Qaeda fights alongside the Taliban, who are locals. Second, Al-Qaeda's Mujahideen have proven from the outset that they rise above the traditional [internal] conflicts…

"Al-Qaeda takes pride in that, on September 11, it destroyed the elements of America's strategic defense, which the former U.S.S.R. and every other hostile state could not harm. These elements are: early warning, preventive strike, and the principle of deterrence.[26]

"Early warning: With the September 11 attacks, Al-Qaeda entered the annals of successful surprise attacks, which are few in history – for example, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the surprise Nazi attack on the U.S.S.R. in 1941, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the crossing of the Zionist Bar-Lev Line in 1973. Moreover: In the pain it caused, [Al-Qaeda] surpassed these surprise attacks, because it put every individual in American society on [constant] alert for every possibility, whether emotionally or practically. This has an extremely high economic and psychological price, particularly in a society that has not been affected by war since the American Civil War. If the USS Cole incident could happen to the American army, which is assumed to be in perfect preparedness, then preparing an entire society for 'terrorist' attacks appears hard to achieve.

"Preventive strike: This element was also shaken on September 11. This element is subordinate to the first… Even assuming that there had been early warning, it is very difficult to launch a successful preventive strike at an organization that maneuvers and moves quickly, and has no permanent bases.

"Deterrence: This principle is based on the assumption that there are two sides [fighting] that seek to survive and defend their interests – but it is completely eliminated when dealing with people who don't care about living but thirst for martyrdom. While the principle of deterrence works well [in warfare] between countries, it does not work at all for an organization with no permanent bases and with no capital in Western banks, that does not rely on aid from particular countries. As a result, it is completely independent in its decisions, and it seeks conflict from the outset. How can such people, who strive for death more than anything else, be deterred?

"In addition to the destruction of these three elements, Al-Qaeda has dealt Americans the most severe blow ever to their morale: One of the Western strategies[27] determined that the best means of bringing about a psychological defeat is to attack a place where the enemy feels safe and secure. This is exactly what the Mujahideen did in New York.

"It appears, therefore, that the imbalance between America and the Mujahideen, of which the cowards [clerics] speak, is exactly what is needed to confront the Western military machine, particularly the American [machine]. [America] is baffled by fourth-generation warfare that suits Jihad avant-garde – especially at a time when the Islamic peoples have re-espoused Jihad, after they had nothing left to lose because of the humiliation that is their daily lot.

"The Americans and the West comprehend the nature of the new challenge, and acknowledge the difficulty of the task ahead of them...

"The time has come for the Islamic movements facing a general crusader offensive to internalize the rules of fourth-generation warfare. They must consolidate appropriate strategic thought, and make appropriate military preparations. They must increase interest in Da'wa [proselytizing], and recruit the peoples' public and political support. In addition to the religious obligation, this has become an integral part of the means to triumph in fourth-generation warfare. Old strategists, such as [von] Clausewitz and Mao Zedong, have already indicated this.

"...America wants to use military action to shatter the Mujahideen's great psychological achievements, and the resonance and positive ramifications of [their] acts of heroism that draw support and sympathy in the Islamic world.

"We pray to Allah to silence the cowards' crow-like calls, and to bring forth for this [Islamic] nation a new generation of preachers and clerics, who can meet the challenges posed by fourth-generation warfare."[28]

By 2010, 4GW is Part of AQAP's Strategy – Laid Out In Al-Suri's Articles in Inspire Magazine

Following the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Al-Suri was quick to understand that Al-Qaeda had lost its base in Afghanistan to wage jihad and that this war would now need to be waged from elsewhere. At this time he began to post articles online laying out the foundation for the post-9/11 era. His doctrine has been recognized as strikingly similar to Fourth Generation Warfare and is devoted to influencing the next generation of Al-Qaeda, which cannot be trained in camps but can learn about jihad online.

The release of the first issue of Inspire, the English-language magazine of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), in June, 2010, provided further evidence of a new development: Al-Qaeda is striving to delegate responsibility for jihad in America to the Muslim community in the U.S. That is, it is Muslims in the U.S. who will carry the burden of jihad, not mujahideen who come from other parts of the world to attack the U.S.

MEMRI released an October 19, 2010 report highlighting Al-Qaeda's effort to recruit Americans to attack in the U.S. – a two-pronged, approach aimed at two distinct target groups.

  • On the ideological level: On this level, Al-Qaeda ideologues address the more educated circles in the American Muslim community, attempting to undermine efforts by moderate Islamic scholars to challenge jihadist and extremist notions. For example, the second issue of Inspire includes an article by Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki, the charismatic American-born Yemeni jihadi leader and scholar who was the inspiration behind several terrorist attacks in America. The article is a detailed denunciation of the New Mardin Declaration – a fatwa published by a group of moderate Muslim scholars from around the world in attempt to delegitimize extremism and violent jihad and promote values of tolerance and coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims.
  • On the practical level: On this level, Al-Qaeda appeals to the less-educated elements of the Muslim community, with an eye to recruiting them for hostile action inside the U.S. Several articles in the second issue of Inspire provide practical suggestions for attacks that do not require advanced weapons or special training abroad – such as driving a vehicle into a large crowd in an American city, shooting up a crowded restaurant in Washington, DC, or using "a pickup truck as a mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah." The first issue of Inspire included similar advice, such as "how to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom." The magazine also encouraged Muslims in the U.S. to emulate the actions of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

The new trend of reaching out to American Muslims is reflected in the call published on Islamist websites to circulate Inspire on various English-language websites – not only on jihadist sites but on general ones, such as sports sites. The trend is also reflected in the statement that "the target audience" of Inspire magazine is "non-Arab Muslims" (meaning English-speaking Muslims of all nationalities).[29]

Abu 'Ubeid Al-Qurashi's hope that a new generation of Al-Qaeda will "meet the challenges posed by fourth generation warfare" was indeed fulfilled by AQAP's Inspire in which Al-Suri occupies a major role as the strategist of the next steps of jihad.

The articles by Al-Suri in Inspire have actually been taken word for word and translated directly from Brynjar Lia's 2008 book about him, Architect of Global Jihad. In the book, Lia, a research professor at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, included an English translation of two key chapters from Al-Suri's The Global Islamic Resistance Call. All the articles are part of a series titled "The Jihadi Experiences [The Schools of Jihad]."

Al-Suri in Issue No. 1 of Inspire – "History & Strategy"

The first issue of Inspire, dated "Summer 2010," contained Al-Suri's article "History & Strategy"; the article is taken word for word and translated from Chapter 8, Section 4 of "The Global Islamic Resistance Call." In the article, Al-Suri explained, inter alia, his "individual judgments" bases on lessons he learned in jihad. He also discussed his theory related to the benefits of embracing "the school of individual jihad and small cell terrorism." He reviewed the history of jihad from 1963-2001 and stated that following 9/11, "the balance of material power between us and our enemies has been shattered." (For full article, see Appendix I: Four Articles By Al-Suri From Inspire.)

Al-Suri in Issue No. 2 of Inspire – "The Open Fronts & The Individual Initiative"

"The Open Fronts and the Individual Initiative," Al-Suri's article in the second issue of Inspire, dated Fall 2011, is also taken from Chapter 8, Section 4 of The Global Islamic Resistance Call. It includes a review of military successes against the West by jihadists. Al-Suri focuses on the benefits of creating small cells of "guerilla groups" which he states were first created during the time of Islam's Prophet Mohammad. He highlighted that throughout Arabs history, "a single mujahid was able to alter the balance of power". Al-Suri called for the creation of "strategic conditions" to be met which will allow an individual involved in "secret jihad" to be active regardless of borders and countries. He explained, "any Muslim, who wants to participate in jihad and the Resistance, can participate in this battle against America in his country, or anywhere, which is perhaps hundreds of times more effective than what he is able to do if he arrived at the open area of confrontation." (For full article, see Appendix I: Four Articles By Al-Suri From Inspire.)

Al-Suri in Issue No. 4 of Inspire – "The Military Theory of Open Fronts"

Al-Suri's article in Issue No. 4 of Inspire, dated "Winter 2010," was titled "The Military Theory of Open Fronts." In it, Al-Suri focuses on the Jihad of individual or cell terrorism to adopt urban guerilla warfare, which "is fundamental for exhausting the enemy and causing him to collapse." Based on his examination of American military and security commands that he observed, he explained the best way to fight America is through "civilian terror" and secret methods on the level of individual operations and small units. (For full article, see Appendix I: Four Articles By Al-Suri From Inspire.)

Al-Suri in Issue No. 5 of Inspire – "Individual Terrorism Jihad and the Global Islamic Resistance Units"

In another installment in his series "The Jihadi Experiences," Al-Suri writes in Issue No. 5 of Inspire, under the title "Individual Terrorism Jihad and the Global Islamic Resistance Units," about his definition of terrorism. He explains that "terrorizing the enemy is a religious duty" and discusses his training as a youth and his observations about past terrorist attacks and individual jihad. He stated that the most important "acts of terrorism" is "the assassination of leaders of disbelief among civilians and military personnel, among men from politics, propaganda and media, among the ones who discredit Allah's religion, and among the supporters of Allah's enemies who invade the Muslims, is a confirmed tradition of Allah's." (For full article, see Appendix I: Four Articles By Al-Suri From Inspire.)

Al-Suri in the Upcoming Issue No. 6 of Inspire – A Discussion of Practical Steps of Participating in Individual Jihad

As we see at the end of Al-Suri's article "Individual Jihad and the Global Islamic Resistance Units" includes a preview of the upcoming Issue No. 6 of Inspire. The preview text at the end of Al-Suri's article in Issue V in which he discusses the best way for youth to join and participate in jihad, by operating from home.

Al-Suri starts by discussing the practical steps of participating in individual jihad: "The Islamic Nation is vast and so are the arenas in which targets and interests of the invader enemy are present. It is furthermore impossible for all the youth who want to participate in the Resistance to travel to the arenas of [open] confrontation. It is even unlikely that such fronts should emerge in the foreseeable future. Hence, our method should therefore be to guide the Muslim who wants to participate and resist, to operate where he is, or where he is able to be present in a natural way. We should advise him to pursue his everyday life in a natural way, and to pursue jihad and Resistance in secrecy and alone, or with a small cell of trustworthy people, who form an independent unit for Resistance and for the individual jihad."

Al-Suri's Teachings – The Source of Al-Qaeda's 4GW Strategy

Issues 1 through 5 of Inspire come directly from Chapter 10 of Professor Lia's Architect of Global Jihad. These key excerpts of 'The Global Islamic Resistance Call' begin on page 347 beginning with Inspire 1 – leading up to page 393 for Issue 5.

The remainder of the book, pages 394-484 is what is likely to appear in future issues of Inspire. This includes a discussion of the best places to strike the enemy – in particular "the heart of America itself." Al-Suri also explains that the goal of such operations "is to inflict as many human and material losses as possible upon the interests of America…" (See Appendix II: Articles by Al-Suri To Be Expected in Future Issues of Inspire.)

The Impact of Al-Suri's Strategic Theory on Al-Qaeda's Future

The assassination of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011 provided another opportunity for Al-Suri's philosophy to gain in stature within Al-Qaeda's ranks. As professor of defense analysis at the United States Naval Postgraduate School Dr. John Arquilla wrote in Foreign Policy magazine on May 10, 2011, "Al-Suri, who likely plotted the 2004 Madrid bombing that caused the fall of the Spanish government and the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq, has been in custody for over five years. His name is scarcely known to the mass publics of the world, and to surprisingly few in the military. But his ideas, articulated at great length – clocking in at some 1,600 pages – in his e-book The Global Islamic Resistance Call, seem to have carried the day in setting Al-Qaeda's new course. He and bin Laden used to spar over this approach, in which links to the core were to be almost completely severed in favor of local cells' freedom to chart their own courses and plan their own violent campaigns."

The release of the June 3, 2011 official Al-Qaeda media wing Al-Sahab video titled "Do Not Rely on Others, Take [the Task] Upon Yourself," provides further evidence that Al-Suri's doctrine will be a part of Al-Qaeda's future plans. In the video, Al-Qaeda Central's leaders all focused on the topic of al-jihad al-fardi ("individual jihad"), namely, jihad operations performed by a single individual or by a small group which was one of Al-Suri's main principles. Abu Yahya Al-Libi explained the concept of individual jihad defining it as “a single person or small group of mujahideen carry out a military operation according to the laws of the shari'a…a one-man operation in the midst of the infidels' territory may be much more effective – in terms of precision and choice of target – than dozens of operations on the battlefield.”

Attiyat Allah Al-Libi praised individual jihad as “one way of penetrating the enemy's ranks; [such operations] constitute an attack by a single individual against a great and numerous enemy…this enemy has clear weak spots, and his interests are spread across our lands, his lands, and the whole world – and they are important targets that can be reached with relative ease…”

Anwar Al-Awlaki's statement focused on Major Nidal Hasan, the sole suspect in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting which killed 13 people and wounded 30 more. According to Al-Awlaki, Hasan serves as a model for followers of Al-Qaeda in the West dedicated to individual jihad explains, “What he [i.e. Nidal Hasan] did was a heroic act – a magnificent operation…I support what he [i.e. Nidal Hasan] did, and call upon anyone who belongs to Islam, [or] claims to belong to Islam, and [while] he serves in the U.S. Army, to follow the footsteps of Nidal Hasan. The example of Nidal Hasan is magnificent, we ask almighty Allah to make it the beginning of many [other] Muslims [who decide] to follow in its footsteps.”

Adam Gadahn also called on members of Al-Qaeda abroad to return “to the countries of the Crusades" i.e. the West, as well as for Western-born followers to embrace individual jihad and launch attacks from their homeland. “Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and the Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam…The way to show one's appreciation and thanks for this blessing is to rush to discharge one's duty to his ummah, and fight on its behalf, with everything at his disposal. And in the West, you've got a lot at your disposal.”

Interestingly, Gadahn also refers to Al-Qaeda leaders in jail, who many believe will spend their lives in prison, but who could go free in the future. "I'd like to add this note of reassurance and encouragement. If it's Allah's will that you be captured, then it's not the end of the world, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to spend the rest of your life in prison. In fact, let me tell you something. Over these past few years, I've seen the release of many, many mujahideen whom I'd never even dreamed would regain their freedom, yet are, as I speak, now back home with their families or back on the frontlines, fighting the enemies." Following the recent events and instability in Syria, Al-Suri may become one such example.

Appendix I: Four Articles by Al-Suri from Inspire

A. Al-Suri's Article "History & Strategy"

The following text is taken from Al-Suri's book The Global Islamic Resistance Call, Chapter 8, Section 4.

"In accordance with our method, our military theory was born through a study of our own experiences in the jihādī current, as well as through enduring and living in the field throughout the various stages. This is how I produce practical theories, as already defined.

"These kinds of theories can only be formulated by those involved actively, with the success granted by Allāh the Almighty and Supreme. They are written for the battlefield. The details in their ideas have been accumulated in the field and during hours of reflection with the mujāhidūn warriors when they rested. We ask Allāh to make us one of them. I turn my attention to an important matter, which is:

"Most of what I will mention here is a specific organizational and military ijtihād, based upon my own experiences, studies and comparisons, and conversations with experienced mujāhidūn leaders and their cadre… most of these issues are not concerning the doctrines or the laws about what is ĥarām and ĥalāl. Rather, they are individual judgments based on lessons drawn from experience with the issues of opinion, war and stratagem.

"In the summer of 1991, I already put down the first seed and essence of the idea, when the warning signs of [Operation] Desert Storm and its raging winds drifted towards us in Afghanistan. Thereafter, I developed it further with the earthquakes and tribulations of the latest jihādī experiences in Algeria. Then, it matured and took shape in my mind at the military camps and at the frontlines of the Islāmic Emirate of Afghanistan. I attempted to implement it in cooperation with the Islāmic Emirate. Then September came, and I could devote myself completely to formulating the idea in its final version after the tyrannical persecutions compelled us to a condition close to a prison and house arrest. One of its advantages was that I could devote myself to continuing to follow the events, thinking, revising and writing. Three years have passed since the fall of Afghanistan, and historical changes have taken place that have altered the face of civilization and the course of history… The American campaigns started, with their new military methods, and their full-scale attacks everywhere… It has assured me of the truthfulness of these ideas – Allāh (Arabic calligraphy "Almighty") knows everything – and made me more confident in them, and helped me develop and adjust them, so that they fit to the new reality. The balance of material power between us and our enemies has been shattered. It went to their favor, and then it collapsed.

"Therefore, between us and them there is no material or military balance. It cannot be compared… If we decided to confront [them], and we regard this as a religious duty – which it truly is – I consider ideas like these, which I will set forth in detail in this section, with Allāh's permission, to be the only workable method, from the perspective of a total confrontation theory. I ask Him for victory, facilitation, inspiration with the truth, blessing, guidance and devotion altogether, and that He will crown His generosity by accepting my prayers. Truly, He is All-Hearing and Responsive.


"As I talked about in detail in the sixth and seventh chapters of part one, the jihādī experiences began at the beginning of the 1960s, and continued until September 2001, when a new world started…

"The observer of these experiences is able to categorize them based on their method of confrontation, into three schools of jihād. Every jihād that was found during this period can be subsumed under one of these categories. The results are as follows:

"A. The school of secret military organizations (regional-secret-hierarchical). They are the kind of jihādī experiences and organizations I talked about earlier. They adopted the jihādī ideology and conducted organizational work on the regional level, through a secret system and hierarchical network. The main goal was to topple the existing governments and systems, and to establish the Islāmic system through armed jihād.

"A summary of the result:

"1. Military failure; defeat in the field.

"2. Security failure; disbandment of the secret organizations.

"3. Da'wah failure; inability to mobilize the Islāmic ummah.

"4. Educational failure; due to the secrecy.

"5. Political failure; by not achieving the goal.

Result: Complete failure on all levels.

"B. The school of open fronts and overt confrontations. They are the kind of experiences that took place in arenas of open confrontation. Most well-known are the recent experiences in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya. The method used in these confrontations was to confront [the enemy] from permanent bases, and semi-regular guerrilla warfare.

"A summary of the result:

"1. Overwhelming military success.

"2. Security success in curtailing the role of the intelligence.

"3. Da'wah success; it mobilized the Islāmic ummah behind those issues.

"4. Partial educational success in the military camps and at the fronts.

"5. Political failure except in the case of Afghanistan, where an Islāmic state was established.

"Result: Generally a success, and a complete success in Afghanistan.

"C. The school of individual jihād and small cell terrorism. They are the kind of single operations that were carried out by individuals or small groups. These are some of the operations:

-Sayyīd Nosair al-Maşrī and his killing of the big Zionist Kahane

-Ramzī Yūsuf al-Balochī and the first attempt to destroy the tower of New York.

-Al-Daqamsa, the Jordanian who killed the Zionist women on the border.

-Suleyman Khātir al-Maşri, who killed guards on the Israeli border.

-The single operations during the Gulf War… and the list is long…

"And the summary:

"1. Military success; making the enemy tremble.

"2. Security success; because these are operations that do not lead to the failure of establishing new cells [in the future].

"3. Da'wah success; it mobilized the Islāmic ummah.

"4. Educational failure; due to the absence of a program.

"5. Political failure; due to the absence of a program that could transform it into a phenomenon.

"Result: Success in confusing the enemy and activating the Islāmic ummah.

"So, we have arrived at the discussion of these three schools, in our search for the best method of resistance today. We find the following:

"As I summarized in the table above, this school led to complete failure on all levels. I do not say these words about this method as a critic from outside. Rather, I have been one of its leaders, agitators, and organizational theorists, Allāh is gracious and I pray to Him for devotion and acceptance.

"But I look upon the methods as a means, and not as idols. We should use those methods that have given us a proven benefit, and leave behind those methods that have been surpassed by time. Otherwise, we will also be surpassed by time.

"True, I have mentioned before that the September events put an end to the remnants of the secret organizations of the jihādī current – in particular the Arab ones – the repercussions of those events collectively destroyed what remained of those organizations, and left most of their soldiers killed or captured. But this is not the reason for the termination of this school. In practice, this school terminated ten years before that, with the onset of the New World Order in 1990.

"Throughout the last decade of the 20th century, programs for fighting terrorism were able to disband those organizations security-wise, militarily defeat them, isolate them from their masses [of followers], damage their reputation, dry out their financial sources, make their elements homeless, and put them in a state of constant fear, starvation, and lack of funds and people. This was a reality that I knew, as other old jihādī's like me know as well.

"Gradually, those secret organizations vanished and disbanded, and small groups of the remaining [jihādī's] became refugees in the East and the West, persecuted, with their families, children, and individuals from their organizations. Fugitives of religion and though, scorned upon here and there, they hardly produce anything…

"The regime of the Dead Pharaoh Ĥassān II terminated, even before it started, the early attempt to form a jihādī organization by The Moroccan Youth Organization (tandhīm al-shabibah al-maghribīyyah) in Morocco at the outset of the sixties.

"This is also what the regime of Chadli Bendjedid in Algeria did in the middle of the seventies, when it destroyed The Islāmic State Movement (ĥarakat ad-dawlah al-islāmīyyah) without much difficulty.

"The security regime of the heretic Nusayrī Ba'th regime in Syria was able to destroy The Fighting Vanguard of the Muslim Brotherhood (at-talī' ah al-muqātilah lil-ikhwān il-muslimīn), after an armed revolution that lasted about a decade, ten years before the emergence of the New World Order, and twenty years before September… and it completely annihilated it.

"The criminal Pharaonic regime in Egypt under Hosnī [Mubārak]'s leadership – may Allāh never bless him or people of his kind – was able to put an end to all the jihādī organizations in Egypt, one after the other. The last of them were the secret organizations of al-jihād and The Islāmic Group (al-jamā' ah al-islāmīyyah), which were destroyed in the middle of the nineties. Egyptian intelligence disbanded their cells and the government captured most of their members and followers, and this happened years before the September events.

"You can say the same thing about what happened in Libya, where Ghadāffi's regime terminated two major attempts, in the middle of the eighties and in the middle of the nineties.

"This was repeated when the jihādī organizations in every Arab and Islāmic country clashed with even the weakest security and intelligence regimes in Arab and Islāmic countries! I briefly mentioned this here, as the details of this have been given in chapter 6-7 in Part One of the book. It culminated in the great cleansing and the most overwhelming success of the Arab security regime, which took place recently in Algeria between 1991 and 1997, in spite of all the propitious conditions for success that this experience offered. Then, the secret organizations' last jihādī pulsation in Yemen and in Lebanon faded away at the end of the 20th century.

"The local security regimes in our countries were able to put an end to those attempts, due to the Arab and regional system of coordination. Their results came when the coordination reached the international level. Thus, as I said above in detail, this is a summary of the results of our method:

  • "Our secret organizations were militarily defeated in all the confrontations. Yes, we won many of the battles, but we lost the war in all the [jihādī] experiences and confrontations. I do not spend time on the discussions with the obstinate, for reality is the greatest witness.
  • "Our secret organizations were defeated in terms of security, their cells were exposed and disbanded, and the attempts to build them were aborted. The security system of the enemy reached a level were even attempts to build cells were subjected to abortive strikes, before they were founded, or at their embryonic stage.
  • "In those experiences, we failed drastically with regards to the agitation for jihād. The jihādī organizations were not able to reach out to the masses, or to become popular, in spite of the truth they were holding. The number of their supporters did not exceed the hundreds, or maybe tens, in countries with multi-million-size populations.
  • "The jihādī organizations also failed on the level of educating, preparing, and training their members for confrontation in the field of ideology, doctrine, program, security, as well as in the domain of politics and military expertise… except in limited cases. This was especially true after the start of the confrontations, because none of these secret organizations were able to complete the programs of preparation and building under the slogan 'building through battle' (al-bina' min khilāl al-ma 'rakah), when the secrecy and the security conditions prevented that. In this way, the cadre and the supporters that had been formed through lengthy education were expended [i.e., killed or captured], and the level of education declined among the succeeding bases of cadre. This has happened in most of the experiences.

"In the end, and due to the complete failure in the details, the complete failure manifested itself in the inability to realize the goals of the general project.

"Let us now, on the basis of this summary, turn our attention to the result of these methods, in light of the current reality after the onset of the New World Order, and especially after September and the campaigns of fighting terrorism:

"If the methods of 'the hierarchical, regional, secret organizations' in confronting the local security regimes completely failed over the past decades, just imagine how much more we will fail in confronting the security apparatus of the New World Order, and the onset of the worldwide war to fight terrorism with all its security, military, ideological, political and economic means…?! This is no longer possible. Rather, if we insist on using these methods under the current circumstances, it is – in my opinion – like committing suicide and insisting on failure. It verges on the crime of deceiving the simple-minded Muslim youth who are dedicated to jihād. It means assuming responsibility for their destruction on roads that have proven to yield failure. We paid the price of precious blood for this discovery.

"The fault was not the methods of the secret organizations, nor the organizations in general, but it was the changes of time, and the premises of the new reality after 1990, which made those methods destructive. During some of the lectures in Afghanistan, I gave an example to explain this, and I will repeat it here… Let us say you have a strong and excellent electric machine, but it only works with the old electric system, 110 volts. Then, as happened in our countries as well, all sources of electricity are transformed into 220 volts. What will happen if you insist on using it?! The machine will catch fire, and strike your electric system, and maybe give you an electric shock as well!!! It is for certain that the weakness is not in the machine, because it is perfect and suitable for working in its time, but the new surrounding conditions have made it outdated, and its natural place has become the museum! In a corner of a closet, as a monument from the past. Your love for it, your memories with it, and the fact that it is your parents' heritage will not change a single bit of the reality. The machine was not any longer suitable for work. The time has changed and the machine has retired from service. This is what the New World Order did with our organizatory machine, the regional secret hierarchical model in spite of its splendour. As a result, significant phenomena occurred, a summary of which we will mention here:

"1. The battle between the governments and the jihādī organizations lasted throughout the sixties, seventies and eighties, for many years, until the governments were able to destroy the jihādī organizations. This happened after devastating battles and large losses for the governments. The jihād in Syria lasted for about ten years of confrontation (1973-1983), and in Egypt it was the same or longer. But look at Algeria, where in spite of the perfect premises for jihād and excellent conditions for the jihādī movement, the attempt was crushed during four years (1992-1995)! And the confrontations and the attempts that took place at the end of the nineties and at the beginning of the 21st century only took a few days to destroy! In Lebanon, the organization of Abū 'Āisha, may Allāh have mercy upon him, which was built over several years, was destroyed in five days! And in Yemen, the movement of Abū al-Ĥassan al-Miĥdār, may Allāh have mercy upon him, was finished in three days, and so on… This confirms that the old machine was no longer suitable, except for destroying itself and its owners, who insisted on working and continuing with it as it was.

"Here is another comment:

"2. The regional and international peripheries (lit. 'margins' ha-wamish) were closed to the operational activity of the regional and international secret organizations, even the non-Islāmic ones, as a result of the emergence of the New World Order after 1990, and especially after September 2001. There were two camps; the Eastern and the Western, and inside the Western camp there were axes, the interests of states, and conflicts. This enabled insurgents in some of the regimes who were client states (lit. 'tails' adhyāl) of a particular international axis, to flee to the territory of a state belonging to another axis, and resume operational activity. Here, the secret organizations received support and felt secure. They created safe havens, flourished and became wealthy. In this manner, the insurgents against 'Abdel Nāsser in Egypt on the Eastern axis, fled to King Feisal in Saudi Arabia, which is on the Western axis. The opponents of Şaddām operated against him from Syria, as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Fighting Vanguard operated against the Syrian regime from Iraq and Jordan. The jihādīs, Islāmists, and political dissidents travelled from all corners of the world and roamed through many countries, obtaining political asylum and operating secretly across the borders… etc.

"However, with the downfall of Russia, and the emergence of a unipolar system (America), most states, and especially the small ones, became client states of one pole imposing a single policy so the peripheries between the client states and axes disappeared. Hence, the states, the political parties and the small powers lost those peripheries, and were compelled to follow the orders of the politics of the dominant regime on Earth. The weaker the state, secret organization, or front, the greater was the damage inflicted by this New World Order. One of the biggest losers in this turnover was the secret resistance organizations and the opposition parties, as they were forced to cease their activities, dissolve, surrender, or repent and make compromises with their governments.

"Otherwise, the other option is to be wiped out. One of the most awful examples is what happened to the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK] and its leader, 'Abdullāh Öcalan. It is one of the strongest militant opposition parties in the world, and it has tens of thousands of fighters spread out in military camps and fronts in Turkey, Syria, Northern Iraq and Lebanon… and it has supporters in north-western Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds in Europe, especially in Germany, provide the PKK with a certain share of their monthly income, revenues amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. It even has a number of satellite TV stations… etc. it has an organizational empire when it comes to the Islāmic jihādī organizations!

"When the New World Order emerged, and Syria joining the American axis out of fear and greed, Syria wiped out the [PKK] camps in Syria and Lebanon against its will. The president [of PKK] was forced to emigrate to a number of countries, and then he was kidnapped in cooperation with the CIA, Mossad and the Turkish intelligence. Even Greece, Turkey's historical enemy, assisted in turning him over to Turkey. So the party was dissolved, and its camps were destroyed. America eliminated the remaining [camps] in Iraq, and at last, the ones who were left, declared that they would refrain from the armed operation, and form a political opposition party according to the democratic standards and the New World Order!! While its imprisoned leader could only hope to not be executed..!

"Now the last example: The Irish Republican Army (IRA). It is a militant organization whose history and roots go more than 100 years back in time. It is one of the huge organizations, and it has bonds with Irish communities in America, and receives billions in aid from them. It had excellent training camps in the United States, as well as connections in terms of training and support with Western countries, like Algeria and Libya, and with a number of Arab leftist organizations… etc. When the New World Order emerged, and Great Britain joined the head of the axis of the America alliance, the Irish Republican Army was forced to accept a peaceful option. Its weapons were surrendered, it was dispersed, and the story ended!

"These are some of the glaring examples before us, and there are others. If we did not take a warning from these, we can blame nobody but ourselves when 80% of our forces were eliminated in the repercussions of September 11th during two years only! In order for us to realize that our 'Torā Borā-mentality' has to end.

"The times have changed, and we must design a method of confrontation, which is in accordance with the standards of the present time. So I repeat again… the main weakness is not in the structure of the secret organizations or their internal weaknesses, although they were underlying reasons. The main weakness is caused by the fundamental and revolutionary change of the times and the current premises, which has altered the course of history, the present, and consequently the future.

"In the next edition of Jihādī Experiences, al-Șūrī details the school of open fronts in the pre-September world. He writes, "Thus, we are able to summarize by saying that the experience on the Fronts is regarded as a successful method of confrontation, when compared with the methods of the regional, hierarchical and secret organizations, which failed completely on all levels."

B. "The Open Fronts & the Individual Initiative"

The following are excerpts from the article:

"Second: The School of Open Fronts in the Pre-September World[30]

"The meaning of Open Fronts is that there are mujahidun forces whose presence is overt and linked to permanent bases. They fight the enemy forces on open battle lines, or they fight a guerilla war from those fixed positions. I will illustrate this with some examples from our experience: 'The First Afghani Jihad', 'Bosnia', 'Chechnya' and then 'The Second Afghani Jihad in the Era of Taliban'. As I said, this method was proven, in contrast with previous methods. Some points are:

"1. Overwhelming military success:

"This in spite of the enormous difference between the mujahidun and the enemy in equipment, weapons, technology and all material balances. In the first experience, the Afghani mujahidun, and the Arab and Muslim mujahidun who were with them – as previously explained – managed to, in spite of their shortcomings, defeat a great state and have folded its flags forever, Allah willing.

"In Bosnia, a handful of Arab, Turkish and Muslim mujahidun were able to alter the balance of power in the Serbian genocide war, and they performed miracles. It is enough to mention that 60,000 soldiers from the American forces were stationed at sea outside the coasts of Bosnia and Serbia, and they put as a condition for entering Bosnia after the Dayton agreement, that 600 Muslim mujahidun should leave the country! So every man planted terror in a hundred soldiers from the Great Empire and its allies!

"As for Chechnya, there is no objection that the military miracles which occurred had stunned the world, when a handful of men withstood the Soviet military apparatus! From a people whose population is less than a million, in a country not bigger than 50,000 square kilometers!

"In this way, the faithful mujahidun proved that on the fields of overt confrontation, they are exceptional fighters. The imbalance [of power] between them and the enemy did not stand as an obstacle for them or for the victories.

"2. Structural security success:

"Considering that the confrontations were overt, the regimes' intelligence did not have any role worth mentioning, in that they had a role in the abortion of those fronts. Rather, the participation on the battlefield was a security barrier by which many of the infiltrators and the intelligence agents were detected, so they had to repent or flee… their activity was limited to observing the movement of secret organizations who took refuge on those fronts, and not abortion of the fronts themselves.

"3. Agitation success:

"This is the third important matter, because those causes succeeded in mobilizing the Islamic Nation, with its hundreds of millions, behind them. This is in contrast to the experiences of the secret organizations, since the oldest jihadi organizations were unable to mobilize the people of the limited region where they were confronting the regimes. Most of the Islamic Nation's people had not even heard about their struggle, let alone supported them! However, in the case of the Open Fronts, the Islamic Nation with its hundreds of millions rose to support and advocate for them, and her devoted sons joined the Fronts. The Shaykh's and elders prayed to Allah for the mujahidun's victory, and rich and poor Muslims alike donated their money and supported the jihad.

"The mobilization for jihad that the Fronts generated was enormous… and the agitation to those causes was successful in a startling way.

"4. Educational success:

"The Islamic educational theory is based upon direct acquisition of knowledge, and on [role] models and examples of good behavior. This has been the case from the Prophet to his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and from them to the Tābi`īn (followers), and from them to the Taba Tābi`īn (followers of the Followers). Then, to the senior clerics and the venerable forefathers of the Islamic Nation, and then to their students and followers, and in this way throughout history…

"This cannot be done today, however, under the conditions of secret education. It is not possible to provide time or space for giving real doses of the education. Also, the secrecy does not provide any opportunity to become acquainted with the role model, the leader and the shaykh… and to be influenced by him and take him as a model. By contrast, the jihad on the Fronts provided all of this… but unfortunately, the leaders who were in command in that period were largely incapable in terms of giving attention to education (tarbīyyah) in its various forms, and the troops gave attention to military and combat education only. However, this incapability cannot deny two points: First, that education was possible. And second, that it was conducted in a partial manner and by some people. It had a great impact, such as in the Afghani and Bosnian experiences, and much greater than in the experiences of the secret jihadi organizations.

"5. Political success:

"Political success is the realization of goals and slogans… And the goal of every jihad has been to defeat the enemy and to establish Islamic rule. In the first Afghani experience, the success was complete… After passing through trials and tribulations, the jihad resulted in the emergence of the Islamic Emirate. The dream came true. Although it was shattered after some time, it will return soon, Allah willing. In the case of Bosnia, the goal was to save the Muslims from genocide, and this was realized. However, the rise of an Islamic State in the heart of Europe, and in the light of the New World Order, was an impossible matter. I think that whatever was realized, in view of the circumstances, was largely a success. In the case of Chechnya, the political project was not realized in spite of the military successes, because the strategic geographical factors for Chechnya as a country, and the given facts and numbers of its population, make this a semi-impossible task. The persistence that was realized is regarded as a historical victory.

"In general, political success is connected to factors, which are further away than those I teach in this paragraph, which are concerned with the military performance…

"Thus, we are able to summarize by saying that the experience on the Fronts is regarded as a successful method of confrontation, when compared with the methods of the regional, hierarchical and secret organizations, which failed completely on all levels… this in spite of the devotion and sacrifice provided by the mujahidun, and the achievements and victories that were realized, which in the end were futile, as a result of what we said above. {And the command of Allah is a decree determined} [al-Aĥzāb: 38].

"However, the theory of resistance on Fronts has been subjected to decline in the post-September 2001 world. America has employed her stunning technological superiority, and used it for her strategy of decisive air strikes and complete control over space and the electronic world. We will discuss this later, Allah willing.

"Third: The School of Individual Jihād and Small Cells

"This jihadi school is very old… maybe its first experience was the unit of the Prophet's great companion Abu Basir, and his well-known story when he formed the first guerilla group in Islam, and the great companion Abu Jandal subsequently joined him. A testimony to this method is what happened at the end of the life of Allah's Messenger when al- Aswad al-Ansi apostatized in Yemen, seized power and suppressed and humiliated the Muslims there. The man who put up resistance, was a blessed man from a blessed family, as Allah's Messenger. He carried out individual operational activity on his own initiative. He assassinated al-Aswad al-Ansi, altered the balance of power, and consolidated Islam in Yemen. Gabriel brought Allah's Messenger the good news of this decisive victory, which was won by a handful of enterprising men.

"Throughout Islamic history, individual initiatives were repeated. During the Crusader wars, the corruption of the Emirs and the disintegration of the Islamic Nation, groups of mujahidun fighters resisted the catastrophe, before the rise of the Zengid State, and then the Ayyubid State. Many isolated units and groups performed the religious duty of jihad. In contemporary Arab history, a well-known story is when a single mujahid was able to alter the balance of power, and to influence the course of a large colonization campaign. This happened when the mujahid Suleyman al-Halabi, Allah's mercy upon him, fled from Aleppo — my old city — in North-Western Syria to Jerusalem, where he asked one of the city's clerics to issue a fatwa on killing Kleber, the commander of the French campaign in Egypt, whom Napoleon Bonaparte had appointed as his successor. He then went to him and killed him, and this was one of the reasons for the departure of the French campaign from Egypt. The only price of this victory was the achievement of Suleyman al-Halabi and his shaykh, who issued a fatwa saying that al-Halabi would be a martyr in Allah's cause, and the two of them were executed, may Allah's mercy be upon them.

"Since the second Gulf War (Desert Storm) in 1990, and the emergence of the New World Order, this school has been revived. Since then, tens of individual operations have taken place here and there, in various spots in the Arab and Islāmic world, and are still taking place… Sayyid Nusayr killed the fanatic Zionist rabbi Meir Kahane in the United States. He was one of the most hard-line Jews towards the Muslims in Palestine. He had a program for expelling all Palestinians from Palestine. As a result of Kahane's assassination, his group was dissolved and vanished. In 1993, Ramzi Yusuf, one of the Afghan Arabs (he is a Balochi Pakistani), and a group of mujahidun tried to blow up the tower of the World Trade Center in New York.

"In Jordan, a Jordanian soldier from the Border Guards boldly opened fire at a number of female Jewish students who were making movements that were mocking the Muslim prayer, and killed a number of them. In Egypt, the heroic Suleyman Khatir opened fire, by independent decision, at a number of Jews at the Egyptian-Israeli border. At the Jordanian border with Israel, tens of border-crossing operations were carried out by young mujahidun, some of them were not carrying anything except a kitchen knife for attacking the Jewish patrols on the Western banks of the Jordan River! In Beirut, mujahidun climbed to the roof of a building and fired a number of RPG rockets at the Russian Embassy during one of the Russian campaigns against Chechnya. During the days of the Gulf War, an old Moroccan stabbed ten French tourists in Morocco, and the body of an Italian was found in the Emirates. A youth stabbed a number of foreigners in Amman, Jordan, and fired upon them. In Palestine, many individual operations were carried out by insurgent citizens against the settlers or the occupation soldiers.

"In Pakistan, mujahidun have killed a number of Americans and Jews. In Egypt, a citizen delivered a letter to Hosni Mubarak, and then stabbed him with a knife. He was killed by the guards. In Jordan, an outstanding group consisting of four men created a cell to assassinate Freemasons in Amman, and succeeded in executing a number of them. They were subsequently arrested after clashing with the police, and some of them died as martyrs. And so on…

"As for this spontaneous method, which started to spread with the intensification of the attacks of the American campaigns against Muslim countries, the adoption of the Zionistic project in Palestine, and the spread of news through satellites and communication networks, we may make the following observations:

"1. Military success: This is concluded from the amount of fear and the terror that was planted in the enemy, and its influence on his interests. Some operations in 1994 even summoned more than 34 presidents, headed by Bill Clinton, to the Sharm al-Shaykh conference for combating terrorism.

"2. Security success: Which means that these spontaneous operations performed by individuals and cells here and there over the whole world, without connection between them, have put the local and international intelligence apparatus in a state of confusion, as arresting the [members] of aborted cells does not influence the operational activities of others who are not connected to them. I have made use of this observation, to a large extent, when shaping the desired operational concept of the cells of the Global Islamic Resistance Call.

"3. Agitation success: The issue of individual jihad was a great agitation success. It had great influence on awakening the spirit of jihad and resistance within the Islamic Nation, and it transformed unknown individuals such as al-Diqamsa, Suleyman Khatir, Sayyid Nusayr and Ramzi Yusuf into becoming symbols of a nation. The crowds cheer their names, people's thirst for revenge is satisfied, and a generation of youth dedicated to the Resistance follow their example.

"4. From a political perspective: It has been observed that these events remained as responses and emotional reactions here and there, but number-wise they never became a phenomenon, in spite of their ferocity and their long history of existence. We will explain the reasons for this when we formulate the organizational and operational theories, Allah willing.

"5. Educationally: The absence of a common program for these resistance fighters led to a lack of an educational dimension for this phenomenon. This is a shortcoming, which it is possible to avoid, as we will see, Allah willing.

"It has also been observed that this method had a partial success, especially with regard to its impact on the enemy, and the fact that the method makes it harder for the security agencies to defeat the Resistance.

"From the investigative study of these three schools of jihad over the past period, we deduct some very important principles:

"1. It is no longer possible to operate by the methods of the old model, through the 'secretregional- hierarchical' organizations, especially after the September 11th events and the onset of the American campaigns, where the great majority of the existing secret organizations were destroyed, and the conditions made it impossible and futile to establish other secret organizations after this model.

"2. We need to concentrate the research on the methods of the open fronts, and the methods of individual jihadi operational activity, along with the methods of total resistance (al-muqāwama alshāmila) in order to develop them, this in order to deduct a military and organizational theory which is suitable for the coming period. This by using methods whose benefit has been established. And those two are; operational activity at the open fronts, and secret resistance through individual jihad and small cells. Before we discuss these two methods, however, it is appropriate for us to turn our attention to an important matter, and that is the necessity of planting the idea of globalizing jihad in all fields. The enemy has forced us to do so, and the conditions help us to move in that direction, in accordance with our principles which are originally universal. This is one of the axioms of the doctrine.

"Our new method for jihadi operations in the Global Islamic Resistance Call is a global method and call. Likewise, the present military theory is also dependent upon moving on a global horizon. This is a basic factor in the military movement, besides being a strategy, political, and religious doctrine.

"The idea of belonging to the whole Islamic Nation and its necessity for Jihad

"This occurs on the level of religious belief, it is a personal sense of belonging, a geographical affiliation, etc. If we go to any Muslim now, and ask him: 'where are you from?' Indeed, he will mention his country; from Egypt… from Syria… from Tunisia… from Saudi Arabia… etc… He will not mention his city first, and tell you that he is from Damascus, Beirut, Cairo or Tashkent… because he is committed to the borders of Sykes-Picot, drawn in his mind by colonialism.

"What we now need to establish in the minds of the mujahidun who are determined to fight, is the true sense of belonging and commitment, which is according to the words of the Almighty: {Verily, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher; therefore serve Me (and no other)} [al-Anbiyā': 92].

"Alĥamdullilāh, the enemy's military attack now has put us within the borders of the same map, it is called 'The middle area of operations' (mantiqat al-`amaliyyat al-wusta) and in practice, it includes most of the states and countries of the Arab and Islamic world. It is the same in the political field, with the ideological, economic and civilizational attack… Bush has put us all on one map, which includes the same area, and its political name is 'the Greater Middle East'.

"Hence, the enemy has globalized our cause by his attack on us, walĥamdullilāh. This helps those who are not supported by belief and understanding, to move towards this universal (umamī) thinking, which is among the fundamentals of our religion.

"One must pay attention to the fact that this universal commitment has an important military dimension, which helps us to understand the military theory of the Global Islamic Resistance Call. Strategically speaking, this theory emerges from the universal dimension of all parts of the larger Islamic homeland (al-watan al-islāmī), and it cannot succeed if we take away this global universal (umamī) dimension.

"If we should enter a jihad at the Open Fronts, and decide to confront America at the Open Front, we will find that in order for jihad succeed on any front, it requires certain strategic conditions. These conditions are only present in limited areas in the Islamic world. When these fronts need a troop of mujahidun from any Islamic country, reinforcements of different kinds of special expertise from any country will fill important gaps on those fronts whenever they emerge.

"In individual, secret jihad, the operational activity also takes place on a global and universal horizon. The horizons for this operational activity open up regardless of borders and countries. The enemy occupies Iraq and we fight there, the same in Palestine now… It became a duty for the mujahidun in Tunisia, or Morocco, or Indonesia… to go to Iraq to rush to his brothers' aid… however, few are probably able to do that, and it will become harder with time, because the apostate regimes in the areas of confrontation cooperate with America against the mujahidun. But any Muslim, who wants to participate in jihad and the Resistance, can participate in this battle against America in his country, or anywhere, which is perhaps hundreds of times more effective than what he is able to do if he arrived at the open area of confrontation.

"It is absolutely necessary to have a sense of commitment to the Islamic Nation and its world, in the geographical, political and military dimensions and in every field.

"Whoever looks at these established borders, curved and strangely twisted as they are when they draw the maps of our countries, see the drawings by the pens and rulers of the infidels in the colonial powers' ministries. It is strange, then, that these borders have been engraved in the minds and hearts of the majority of the sons of this Islamic Nation. It is astonishing that this catastrophe is not older than a few decades only. It happened after the downfall of the Islamic Nation's broad political entity in 1924, with the fall of the last of the symbolic Caliphs of this nation.

"We must open the minds and hearts of the Islamic Nation's youth, so that they feel commitment to the Islamic Nation as a whole. This is a fundament in the religion and the faith, as well as in the politics and the strategic military concept.

"Now, let us move on to our military theory."

In the following installment of "The Jihadi Experiences" series, al-Suri describes his military theory: "The jihad of individual or cell terrorism, using the methods of urban or rural guerilla warfare, is fundamental for exhausting the enemy and causing him to collapse and withdraw, Allah willing. The Open Front Jihad is fundamental for seizing control over land in order to liberate it, and establish Islamic law, with the help of Allah. The Individual Terrorism Jihad and guerilla warfare conducted by small cells, paves the way for the other kind (Open Front Jihad), aids and supports it. Without confrontation in the field and seizure of land, however, a state will not emerge for us. And this is the strategic goal for the Resistance project."

C. "The Military Theory of Open Fronts"

The following are excerpts from the article:

"The military theory of the Global Islamic Resistance Call

"The military theory of the Resistance Call is based upon applying two forms of jihad:

"1. The Individual Terrorism Jihad (jihād al-irhāb al-farđī) and secret operational activity of small units totally separated from each other.

"2. Participation in jihad at the Open Fronts wherever the necessary preconditions exists.

"We turn our attention to these facts: The jihad of individual or cell terrorism, using the methods of urban or rural guerilla warfare, is fundamental for exhausting the enemy and causing him to collapse and withdraw, Allah willing.

"The Open Front Jihad is fundamental for seizing control over land in order to liberate it, and establish Islamic law, with the help of Allah.

"The Individual Terrorism Jihad and guerilla warfare conducted by small cells, paves the way for the other kind (Open Front Jihad), aids and supports it. Without confrontation in the field and seizure of land, however, a state will not emerge for us. And this is the strategic goal for the Resistance project.

"This is a summary of the military theory which I already developed into its final forms and recorded in a lecture series in the summer of 2000. However, the front confrontations happened after that, between us and the American forces in the battles of the downfall of the Emirate all over Afghanistan in December 2001, especially in the battles in North Afghanistan and of Qalal-Jangi in Mazar-e- Sharif, and the battles of Tora Bora and Qandahar… etc. In addition to some other battles after that, like the battle of Shah-i-Kot, which has the American name 'Operation Anaconda', where hundreds were killed, as well as other confrontations… And the high strategic price we paid in these confrontations, in spite of how the American forces and their allies suffered…

"And then, through my continuous following and studying of the development of the method of military confrontation and the American performance during the invasion of Iraq in March and April 2003. And also [my studying] of some of the battles initiated by some of the armies working as agents for the administration of the American military and security command in the region, such as what happened when the Yemeni Army raided the positions and military bases of the mujahidin in the Hatat mountains and other [places] there… And what happened during the Pakistani Army's siege of and repeated storming of the areas of some of the Arab mujahidin and those who supported them in the tribal areas in the Sarhad province in North-Western Pakistan…

"And likewise, what happened when the Americans destroyed the positions of some of the mujahidin in Iraqi Kurdistan in Khormal, by using the strategy of intense air and missile bombardment, followed by the advancement of agent forces, supported by American Special Forces, towards mujahidin positions… And what happened lately in the persistent battles of Fallujah, let Allah enlighten the faces of the city's mujahidin sons and the faces of the mujahidin everywhere…

"All of this has confirmed that confronting the campaigns of American and allied forces in an overt way, according to the methods of the Open Fronts, and through defending permanent positions, is still in its wrong time – time will come, Allah willing. At present, this is caused by the unimaginable technological superiority of the hostile forces, especially in the air, and in their control over space, and the enormous abilities of taking satellite photos and directing air and missile strikes. And also, the excellent and incomparable abilities of the hostile forces for air-borne strikes, reaching so far as to being able to bring down motorized and artillery units and command forces in terms of strategic numbers anywhere they want, and at record speeds.

"If we accompany these important and current lessons with the lessons from our many tragic jihadi experiences where we used the guerilla warfare method 'defense from permanent positions', such as what happened to us during the jihad in Syria in the 'Battles of Hama—

"February 1982', and the battles of Tripoli against the forces of the Syrian government, and during the defense of Tall al-Za'tar in Beirut, Lebanon, against the Syrian and Lebanese agent forces on the ground and Israeli forces at sea and in the air! And in Yemen, in the experience of al-Mihdar in 1998, and second, in Nabatiyya in Lebanon in 2000, etc. We find that all these experiences confirm what we have studied and taught about 'the principles of guerilla warfare', and that 'defense from permanent positions' at the wrong time is one of the guerillas' most vulnerable spots. This is also elaborated upon in the books of the greatest theoreticians in military art, for example Mao Tse- Tung, Guevara, Giap and Castro… and others.

"The conclusion which we have arrived at now, is:

"That the basic axis of the Resistance's military activity against America and her allies now, must lie within the framework of 'light guerilla warfare', 'civilian terror' and secret methods, especially on the level of individual operations and small Resistance Units completely and totally separated from each other.

"However, along with this I say: Any alteration of the balance of power in favor of the Resistance and the jihad, which minimizes the effects of American control in areas which fulfills the requirements of the Open Fronts, which I will present, will again make the issue of open confrontation for the purpose of liberating land, settling on it, and establishing the starting points or seeds for a legal and political entity for the Islamic power, a goal that one must pursue whenever the opportunities arise. Now, let us examine the details of the military theory of the Global Islamic Resistance Call in the field of [Open] Fronts, and in the field of guerilla warfare of individual terrorism. I start with the Fronts, because it has few details, and because we do not need it so much now. I will only elaborate upon the basic method in the current situation, which I think will continue for a long time, unless Allah's mercy falls upon us so that the balance of power is altered.

"First: Open Front Jihad

"While it is possible to perform individual jihad anywhere in the Arab and Islamic world, even all over the world, because this is not dependent on certain conditions where it takes place, the Open Front Jihad is dependent on strategic preconditions that are necessary in order to succeed, after success has been granted by Allah the Almighty and Supreme.


"Geographical preconditions:

"These are the preconditions of the territory. It has to be:

"1. Spacious in terms of area.

"2. Varied, and with long borders.

"3. Difficult to siege.

"4. Contain partially rough mountainous terrain, forests or similar, which helps in concentrating enemy troops, and in confronting the forces advancing on the ground. It is best to have tree covered mountains.

"5. It is also a requirement of the territory that its food and water sources are sufficient in case of a siege.

"Population factors:

"They include the presence of a large number of inhabitants whose movements are not possible to register, especially if they are spread out in populated rural areas, and densely populated cities. In addition, the youth of this area should be known for its military stubbornness, fighting ability and persistence, and the fact that sources of weapons are available to them in that area.

"Political factors:

"These factors include the presence of a cause in which the local inhabitants can believe, in a way that is sufficient for making them fight a jihad for its sake. Also, that cause must be able to mobilize the Islamic Nation behind it, so that the nation will help this people succeed, and fight a jihad with them, with their spirit and money… and other kinds of support. The most suitable cause among the causes that instigate resistance is foreign aggression and an abundance of religious, political, economic and social reasons for revolution and jihad. This is called 'revolutionary climate' in books about guerilla warfare, and in our literature we will term it 'jihadi climate'.

"According to these requirements, we may benefit from a study of these factors in the three main examples of Open Front Jihad that took place in the past:

"In Afghanistan, in Chechnya, and in Bosnia. This is outlined in the following simple table:

"So, if we examine the countries of the Islamic world and its regions according to their political divisions, from the angle of these strategic preconditions, we will find that the regions and countries in which these preconditions are present, especially the geographical and population ones, are mostly weak, and are created artificially in the most cunning way.

"Regarding the cause, if it does not provide a feeling of commitment to the Islamic Nation as a whole, the cause is weak. Regarding the revolutionary climate caused by religious, social, or economic motives for making revolution against the evilness of the rulers and their collaborators, this revolutionary fire was extinguished by the sultans' clerics and the leaders' propagandists. Everywhere, they inoculated the Islamic Nation's mind that 'the one who does not govern by what Allah sent down… those are the devoted ones!'[31] And that 'the one who befriends the enemies, he is one of us, our ruler, and crown of our head'!!

"Therefore, we must search for the keys to revolution, resistance, and jihad under the slogan that fighting today's American-Zionist invasion is for the entire Islamic Nation. One must take into consideration the fact that the sultans' clerics and the media will only fall in line with their rulers and their master, America, and oppose this call. This is what is happening today.

"Regarding the suitability of the Islamic world's regions for confrontation on Open Fronts: The most suitable, according to the abundance of factors, if we treat them as regions, and not political entities, are:

"a. Afghanistan: Its factors have already been pointed out.

"b. The Countries in Central Asia and vicinities that lie behind the river: It is a large area, close to 5 million km2, and it contains close to 50 million Muslims. All the factors required for Open Fronts are present, especially with the continued Soviet occupation in some of the [area], and the semi-overt infiltration of American occupation in the remaining area, in form of a modern colonization the American way. I have already written a study with the title, 'The Muslims in Central Asia', which dealt with this matter in detail.

"c. Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula: It is a vast area, which in total exceeds 2.5 million km2… The total number of people is about 45 million. It's essential stronghold suitable for open confrontation is Yemen: It contains the religious and economic strategic factors, and the location is well known… I have previously also written a study on jihad in the Arab Peninsula, and its fundamental pillar is Yemen. It is not necessary to speak at length about this here.[32]

"d. Morocco and North Africa: It is also a huge area, with open land borders, long coasts, many mountains and natural fortresses, and an abundance of weapons and necessary resources. It is difficult to besiege because of its many and varied borders. The Arab and Berber inhabitants are historically known for their strength, courage and fighting skills. There are large sources of arms in the region, provided from Central and Western Africa, and its sea connection to Europe provides the region with many favorable preconditions. Say nothing of that, in North Africa, and especially in Morocco, the situation means that most of the pre-conditions for a jihadi—revolutionary climate are present. Furthermore, the presence of economic occupation and Western and Jewish control provides a golden key for releasing the spark of jihad.

"e. The Levant and Iraq: They comprise a whole, continuous region with a total area of more than 700,000 km2. It has all the preconditions for the Open Fronts, especially the mountainous regions in Northern and Western Iraq, Northern and Western Syria, and in most of Lebanon, and also in the mountains East and North of the Jordan River… The total number of people in the region also exceeds 60 million.

"The now emerging American occupation has declared its determination to remain on a long-term basis. They also prepare to extend their aggression to Syria in order to control the whole Levant. After the Jews occupied Syria, the Christians took control over Lebanon, and America seized control over Jordan in all of its affairs. There is an abundance of weapons and equipment in the region, and it also has varied borders, coasts, and passes. Israel creates a motive for a global Islamic cause, and the American occupation adds a revolutionary dimension, which is an excellent key to jihad…

"There are other similar regions as well, in which there are many suitable preconditions for open confrontations, such as Turkey. It is one of the most suitable countries for jihadi guerilla warfare, because all the factors are present. Likewise, and even more so, with Pakistan[33], and some regions on the African continent and other similar [regions]… However, the great majority of Islamic states and entities, which compromise more than 55 states, are not at all suitable for open confrontation, due to the absence of all or some of the suitable conditions.

"Here, one must pay attention to the political cause, which will be the cause of struggle and mobilization for the confrontation. As explained, this cause should be driving the American occupation out of the region, fighting the Jews, removing the idolaters from the Arab Peninsula, oil and resources, the American hegemony, and the injustices and affliction caused by the occupation and its allies in the region.

"How to participate in the Resistance in Open Front Jihad: In most Arab and Islamic countries, with their current political divisions and entities, the preconditions for Open Fronts are not present. In most cases, they are arenas suitable for Individual Terrorism Jihad, small units, and secret guerilla warfare, as a result of the dense presence of different American and allied interests, and of Western and Zionist hegemonic projects.

"Those mujahidin who want to contribute in open confrontations, must head for wherever the Fronts open up whenever they open. They must operate under the field leadership's command, as long as it fulfills the minimum criteria of being a legitimate banner and legitimate jihad under the slogan of universal Islam and as long as it is in accordance with the principles of the Resistance, its ideology and jihadi doctrine.

"When the jihad on one of those fronts leads to victory for the Muslims, that [front] will be the center of an Islamic Emirate, which should be ruled by Allah's shari'ah. It will be a center and a destination for those around it emigrating to fight jihad in the cause of Allah. The leadership and the Emirate will be for all people of that country. There will be certain inherited social traditions there, and it is of no use violating them or pretending to forget the traces of the past, until the Muslim society emerges which is built upon the of Islam and the nationality of Islam. This requires a long time, only Allah knows.

"This was a short and general description of Open Front Jihad. I will speak and instruct more about this later… Indeed, it is very important for those who refuse to carry the banner of jihad, that they understand their reality, the Muslims' reality, and the preconditions of the current American era, before Allah removes their country and disperses them…

"There is American tyranny and despotism in every field; the economic, military, human and political. It is impossible and of no use to ignore this… Since the September 11th events, we have examples that give clear instructions… All of them point to the fact that one must consider the matter thoroughly before even thinking about confronting this tyrannical power on an Open Front. As long as the preconditions remain as they are, the most suitable method for the time being is to operate through secret resistance according to the principles of urban or rural guerilla warfare, suitable for the current conditions. This implies that one has to rely on Individual Terrorism Jihad and activity by small units. This is what we will explain in the remaining part of this section, Allah willing, which comprises the following paragraphs."

D: "Individual Terrorism Jihad and the Global Islamic Resistance Units"

The following are excerpts from the article:

"Definition of Terrorism

"I think that one of the most important fields of success in the recent American Jewish Crusader campaigns is that on the media fields. They have succeeded in imposing terminologies and definitions of people, and in forcing upon humanity a meaning of these terminologies, corresponding with their view. Among the terms which they have imposed today, in a distorted way, in order to express the ugliest of activities, manners and practices… are the terms 'terrorism', 'terrorists', and 'combating terrorism'…

"It has even become natural in the Arab and Islamic media, and even the media of the Islamic awakening (al-sahwah), to reject this description, as if it was an accusation, a vice, and a disaster, which would cause those accused of it to be described by all the characteristics of depravity and everything derived from it in this world and the hereafter…

"With all simplicity and courage we say:

"We refuse to understand this term according to the American description. 'Terrorism' is an abstract word, and like many of the abstract words, it can carry a good or bad meaning according to the context, and what is added to it and what is attached to it. The word is an abstract term, which has neither positive nor negative meaning.

"Arhaba: i.e., to terrify, and the masdar is ar-rahab… i.e., excessive fear. The one performing the action is an irhabi… The one whom the action falls upon is a murhab or marhub. We have two types of terrorism:

"1. Blameworthy terrorism (irhab madhmum): It is the terrorism of falsehood (irhab al-baţil) and force of falsehood (quwwa al-baţil); it can be defined as every action, speech, or behavior which inflicts harm and fear among the innocent without a true cause.

This kind of terrorism includes the terrorism of thieves, highway robbers, invaders, and assailants, and the terrorism of oppressors and un-rightful rulers of people, such as the Pharaohs and their servants… This is blameworthy terrorism, and its perpetrator is a 'criminal terrorist' who deserves to be punished for terrorism and its crime according to its damage and impact.

"2. Praiseworthy terrorism (irhab maĥmud): This is the opposite of blameworthy terrorism. It is terrorism by the righteous that have been unjustly treated. It removes injustice from the oppressed. This is undertaken through terrorizing and repelling the oppressor.

The terrorism of the security men who fight against thieves and highway robbers is of this kind as is the terrorism of those who resist occupation, and the terrorism of people defending themselves against the servants of shayţan. This is praiseworthy terrorism.

"Terrorizing the enemies is a religious duty, and assassinating their leaders is a Prophetic tradition: I remember that I was enrolled in a training course for cadres in the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood organization during the days of the jihad and revolution against Hafiz al-Asad's regime. I was 22 years old. This was in the al-Rashid camp belonging to the Iraqi Army in Baghdad in 1980. When the trainer entered – and he was – may Allah have mercy upon him – a distinguished man, an elderly Shaykh from the first Muslim Brotherhood-generation, from those who pledged allegiance to Shaykh Hassan al-Banna, may Allah have mercy upon him, when he was 17 years old. He fought in Palestine in 1948, and was wounded in Jerusalem, and worked in the Muslim Brotherhood's Special Apparatus. He participated in the secret resistance against the British in the Suez Canal zone at the beginning of the fifties. He became friends with Sayyid Qutb, may Allah have mercy upon him. He emigrated from Egypt and lived outside the country for the rest of his life. He was a trainer in the shuyukh camps in Eastern Jordan with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1969, and devoted himself to helping several of the jihadi movements, which were backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. This was when the Muslim Brotherhood was still following the program of al- Banna and Qutb, before the plague of democracy and parliaments began…

"He was training us in military disciplines and he also ran with us when we had physical exercise – in spite of his old age. He held lectures for us. I remember when he first walked in on a troop of 30 young men, the elite of the military wing of the Syrian Brotherhood at that time. The first thing he said to us in his Egyptian dialect, was: 'Are you Muslim Brothers?' We said yes. He said, 'Are you sure, my sons?' We said we were sure. He said, pointing at his neck, 'You will all be slaughtered. Agree?' We all said, overflowing with happiness and joy, 'We agree, Bey…'

"He turned to the blackboard, and wrote the title of the first lecture on it: 'Terrorism is a religious duty, and assassination is a Prophetic tradition'!

"He drew a line under it and turned in order to start the lesson… and for us to start the work… We paid attention to the lessons, the path was drawn out, and the good news continued… The hope in Allah's generosity is great for those who fulfilled their pledge from that troop, and for the ones who are waiting.

"What the Shaykh – may Allah have mercy upon him – summarized for us in a part of this religion's doctrine. I begin the following part of my lesson with it.

"Allah has given clear orders in His book to terrorize His enemies. Along with it came the tradition of His Prophet, the Chosen One consisting of his deeds, sayings and approvals. The Qur'an and the Sunnah have established the rules of this praiseworthy terrorism against Allah's enemies in clear words. In the Qur'an, Allah the Almighty says: ﴾And make ready against them your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides whom you may not know of, but whom Allah knows of. Whatever you shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly﴿ [8: 60].

"The verse is clear in its text and unambiguous in its meaning… ﴾Make ready﴿ means train for combat. ﴾Against them﴿ means against your enemies. ﴾Your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war﴿ is the shooting, riding and weapons. The Prophet Muhammad said, "Indeed, power is shooting", repeating it three times.

"Why this preparing and training for combat, the gathering of weapons, and making ready the steeds of war…? The verse itself has already explained it: ﴾to strike terror﴿ means in order to strike terror, ﴾with it﴿ means with what you have made ready for combat. ﴾The enemies of Allah and your enemies﴿ They are the ones whom the terrorist act is intended for. ﴾And others besides﴿ means the ones who support and help them, or the ones who wait in ambush for you in order to attack you. When they witness your terror against the assailants, your resistance, and self-defense, they will 'be terrorized' and frightened, and deterred from attacking, without you even knowing about their determination to attack. But Allah knew it, and deterred the enemy through your preparation and through your terror against the assailant enemies of Allah. Allah the Almighty knows everything.

"Thus, and in short:

"This generous verse has ordered preparation for the purpose of terrorizing the assailants' and Allah's enemies among the infidels and their servants.

"The fugitive has understood this verse better than many Muslim clerics of this time. America has

demanded all the Islamic countries to omit it, and all of al-Anfal, at-Taubah, and al-`Imran… from the educational curriculum!!

"The one who terrorizes others is a 'terrorist' without any exception, and hence, there is:

"1. An evil assailant terrorist.

"2. A righteous terrorist defending himself or other oppressed people.

"Thus, in the word terrorist we do not find any negative meaning when we use it to characterize the Resistance fighters or the mujahidin… they are, in reality, terrorists towards their enemies, Allah's enemies, and His weak servants. So where is the ambiguity and the blame?!

"Yes, we are terrorists towards Allah's enemies. We have already struck terror in them, and we have made them tremble in their holes, in spite of the hundreds of thousands of agents in their security agencies, alĥamdullilah, and this happened after they terrorized the countries and mankind, and even put fear into the embryos in their mothers' bellies.

"From this it follows that terrorism has been commanded in Allah's book, and in situations where the mujahidun are repelling their enemy and the enemy's terror through a defensive jihad. This is one of the most important religious duties. In fact, there is no duty more obligatory than this, except believing that Allah is One, as has been established by Islamic jurists and clerics. [We must grasp this] before the enemy's media terror and ideological terror captures us and makes us disclaim our identity, our Lord's book and the duties of our religion.

"Allah's enemies knew that the command to terrorize them is repeated in many of the passages in Allah's book, and in the tradition of His Prophet. Rumsfeld and others have stated this, and demanded from the Islamic countries that they omit many Qur'anic verses from the educational curriculum in the countries of the Arabs and the Muslims, even including the words of Allah the Almighty: ﴾Say: O Disbelievers… You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion﴿ [109: 1,6]. They said that these verses instigate hatred and division among people of different religions, and must be omitted!! I do not know where the indifferent hypocrites should go [to escape] what Allah the Almighty said: ﴾Therefore, when you meet the disbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are you commanded); but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost﴿ [47: 4].

"Muhammad said, "I was sent between the hands of the Hour with the sword until Allah will be worshipped alone with no partner. My sustenance was made under the shadow of my spear, and humiliation and lowliness were made for those who disobey my order. And those who imitate a people are from them". Muhammad also said, "O people of Quraysh, truly, I have come to slaughter you"…!

"The rulers and the Ministries of Education responded to them, and adjusted the curricula several times. There are many examples, and the latest of them is the Pakistani Minister of Culture who went out publicly in front of the press to say that the two Surah's al-Anfal and at- Taubah must be omitted from the curricula because they called for terrorism!!

"Eventually, the matter brought America to a point where they gathered a number of the clerics residing in the West and the orientalists, in order to shorten the Qur'an and omit everything that, by their claim, incites hatred and fighting!! They came out with a new, shortened Qur'an named 'The True Qur'an' (furqan al-ĥaqq). A number of media outlets talked about this, and afterwards I heard it in a press summary on the Saudi-Gulf Iqra channel! And so on. Allah says the Truth, and we are warned by His words: ﴾They ask you concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: 'Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members.' Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you turn back from your faith and die in disbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein﴿ [2: 217]. The command is clear and evident.

"The most important terrorist actions against Allah's enemies, their leaders and their chiefs of disbelief (a'immat al-kufr), are to combat the chiefs of disbelief, as Allah the Almighty says: ﴾But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your faith, then fight the chiefs of disbelief for their oaths are nothing to them; that thus they may be restrained﴿ [9: 12].

"So the most important of the jihadi actions is the liquidation of their leaders, by murder and assassination. This was confirmed in a number of separate events when Prophet Muhammad sent mujahidin units as teams and special units, 'commandoes' of elite Companions… to assassinate leaders of disbelief (ru'us al-kufr) of his time. These events are firmly proven. Among them is when he sent [a unit] to assassinate a female poet who was harming Allah, His Messenger and the Muslims by her poetry. So he ordered her assassination, and her tongue was silenced.

"This is what Allah's Messenger did. A Prophetic tradition which we are proud of, follow, and imitate, and we regard those who condemn it as disbelievers.

"At the end of his life, Fayruz ad- Daylami assassinated the head of apostasy in Yemen, al-Aswad al-`Ansi, who had seized power in Yemen. He wanted people to turn to apostasy, so Fayruz assassinated him. Gabriel informed Allah's Messenger about the event while he [Muhammad] was on his deathbed, and delighted him by the good news. Allah's Messenger informed his Companions about it, and it is told that he said to them, "Al-Aswad al-`Ansi has been killed. A blessed man from a blessed family has killed him."

"The assassination of leaders of disbelief among civilians and military personnel, among men from politics, propaganda and media, among the ones who discredit Allah's religion, and among the supporters of Allah's enemies who invade the Muslims, is a confirmed tradition of Allah's Messenger. It is one of the most important arts of terrorism and one of its most beneficial and deterring operations and methods.

"These are methods, which are also implemented by Allah's enemies. The CIA has obtained a license from the American government to assassinate presidents, if that is in the American national interest, and they have used it time after time. In the CIA, there is a special department for that! So I do not know why they forbid us from doing this? Then, the riffraff and hypocrites among our clerics, may Allah fight them, agree with them on this falsehood?!

"After this necessary introduction in which we have undressed the word 'terrorism' and its derivates, in order to use it as a type of and one of the goals of jihad, we will now move on to the next point.

"Observations about past terrorist operations and individual jihad:

"We observe that those operations remained limited. They were performed by a few people here and there, as an expression of an emotional reaction following some hostile acts against Muslims. They increase in the places of aggression themselves, and this is because the minds and spirits are still naturally disposed towards a local or national awareness. If the colonialist invades a country, there would be a lot of reactions there, but when the same colonialist, with his military and civilian power of different kinds, is present in neighboring countries, no one threatens their interest.

"We also observe that the ones performing these operations are not programmed [i.e., part of an organized program], in order to become a phenomenon for the sake of setting an example, pushing the Islamic Nation's youth to follow it, and building upon it. They are merely emotional reactions.

"They have not transformed it into a phenomenon, because they are spontaneous, and nobody has occupied themselves with making them part of a program and presenting them as a strategic operational method. This is what we will adopt as a fundamental strategy at the base of our military theory in the Global Islamic Resistance Call."

Appendix II: Articles by Al-Suri To Be Expected in Future Issues of Inspire

Pages 394-484 of Lia's book includes Al-Suri laying out in detail about specific terrorist targets: "The weapons should be aimed offensively at the chests of the invaders and their most important collaborators among the senior apostates and traitors as we explained. And defensively against the soldiers of the Tyrants whom the Mujahidin intend to combat. This is a strategic principle of immense importance in the Global Islamic Resistance Call's political and military theories."[34]

Al-Suri explains that for best impact an attack should cause "mass slaughter of the populations," and adds, "This is done by targeting human crowds in order to inflict maximum human losses. This is very easy since there are numerous such targets, such as crowded sports arenas, annual social events, large international exhibitions, crowded market-places, sky-scrapers, crowded buildings… etc."[35]

Al-Suri also created a list of nine "important military targets in America and in Western countries allied to her militarily":

"1. Main political figures who lead the campaign against the Muslims head of states, ministers, military and security leaders.

"2. Large strategic economic targets, such as: The stock exchange- power and oil installations- airports- harbors- railroad systems, bridges and highway intersections- tunnels on the highways- metro systems- tourist targets… and so on, [targeting] resources and sources for the economy.

"3. Military bases and barracks where the armies are concentrated, especially the American military bases in Europe.

"4. Media personalities and media centers that are leading the war against the Muslims and justifying the attacks on them, coming from the Zionist and Zionist- friendly Crusader media institutions.

"5. Centralized information and computer centers that are in control of connecting the different institutions within the state, because this will completely paralyze the activity within that state.

"6. Places where Jews are gathered, their leading personalities and institutions in Europe, avoiding places of worship and synagogues.

"7. Official offices of the governmental institutions of those countries that are waging war, both on the state level and on the level of unions and political and military alliances, in the case where they participate in the aggression. Such as the offices of the NAO and The European Union…, this requires decisions that have been studied carefully from a political perspective.

"8. Buildings of the security services and the central intelligence in the capitals of America and allied Western states.

"9. Striking civilians in general, to deter them or for retaliation (avoiding women and children, when separated from men in places especially designed for them, like schools and the similar…)[36]

A "case study" of the March 11, 2004 train bombings in Spain and how Al-Qaeda was able to affect the outcome of the general elections there is also discussed by Al-Suri. He then lays out "The Operative Mechanisms of the Global Islamic Resistance Units; its Military Theories and Operational Concepts," which explains how to get millions of Muslims to sympathize with the Jihadi cause.

Al-Suri notes in detail how Muslim youth should prepare themselves on their own. He discussed in detail creating units which "makes it possible for a single individual to act." He adds, "The method instructs them to operate wherever they are and wherever they are able to operate, thus avoiding the burden of traveling…"

Finally, Al-Suri classifies Islamic Resistance Units into four categories, from unskilled individuals to special units highly trained. He praises individual and small groups with limited training and finances as "the overwhelming majority of Muslims." They are attractive to him because "they are able to carry out simple operations on a limited level from a military perspective; however, their participation is of highest importance due to their large number in a situation where the Resistance has transformed in to a phenomenon, because they will not give the invader the option of settling in our countries. And they will cause enormous disturbance if the Resistance phenomenon spreads in Muslim communities residing in countries participating in the war on Muslims, especially Western countries."[37]

Appendix III: Al-Suri on YouTube

On January 3, 2007, "Bookre" created a YouTube channel devoted to Al-Suri's teachings. The page has 57 videos, totaling over 500 minutes. It should be noted many other pages devoted to Al-Suri can be found on YouTube.

*Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).


[1] The Times, Mastermind of Madrid is key figure, July 10, 2005.

[2] NCTC, Captured or Killed, August 27, 2010.

[3] MEMRI JTTM, Yvonne Ridley Interviews Wife of Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri,¶m=JT, July 16, 2010.

[4] MSNBC, Key Al-Qaeda Figure Reportedly Captured, November 3, 2005.

[5] See MEMRI JTTM, Posting on Jihadist Forum: Al-Qaeda Ideologue Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri Held in Syria,¶m=GJN, February 15, 2011.

[6] The Atlantic, 5 Reasons to Doubt Al-Qaeda Magazine's Authenticity, July 1, 2010.

[7] CNN, The Mastermind, March 9, 2006.

[8] The Economist, The Brains Behind the Bombs, November 1, 2007.

[9] JTTM, Yvonne Ridley Interviews Wife of Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri,¶m=JT, July 16, 2010.

[10] CNN, The Mastermind, March 9, 2006.

[11] The Washington Independent, Al-Qaeda Goes Viral, June 30, 2008. A March 9, 2006 CNN article described Al-Suri as "the most dangerous terrorist you've never heard of" and "a man more dangerous for his ideas than any particular operation" and added: "[T]he fact that Al-Suri is now in custody may not make him any less dangerous." See CNN, The Mastermind, March 9, 2006. Also, a November 1, 2007 article in The Economist stated: "If the Internet is jihad's open university, used for spreading ideological and military knowledge, then one of its most formidable professors is… Abu Musad [sic] Al-Suri… His lectures remain available as audio files in cyberspace." The report added that after the U.S. put a $5 million bounty on his head, he took precautions; hacking into commercial websites in America, he posted many of the books, lectures, and letters that he had been privately circulating. "I wish by God that America will regret bitterly that she provoked me and others to combat her with pen and sword," he was quoted as saying after his arrest.

[12] CNN, The Mastermind, March 9, 2006.

[13] CNN, The Mastermind, March 9, 2006.

[14] CNN, The Mastermind, March 9, 2006.

[15] To read the full report you must be a member of the MEMRI JTTM. To request a copy of the report send an email to with the full title of the report in the subject line.

[16] The theory of 4GW was first explained in October 1989, in a Marine Corps Gazette article titled "The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation," by William S. Lind, Colonel Keith Nightengale (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), Colonel Joseph W. Sutton (USA), and Lieutenant Colonel Gary I. Wilson (USMCR). They wrote, "If we look at the development of warfare in the modern era, we see three distinct generations. In the United States, the Army and the Marine Corps are now coming to grips with the change to the third generation. This transition is entirely for the good. However, third generation warfare was conceptually developed by the German offensive in the spring of 1918. It is now more than 70 years old. This suggests some interesting questions: Is it not about time for a fourth generation to appear? If so, what might it look like? These questions are of central importance. Whoever is first to recognize, understand, and implement a generational change can gain a decisive advantage. Conversely, a nation that is slow to adapt to generational change opens itself to catastrophic defeat. Our purpose here is less to answer these questions than to pose them. Nonetheless, we will offer some tentative answers. To begin to see what these might be, we need to put the questions into historical context."

The article discusses the concept of large countries versus small "cells," stating: "In broad terms, fourth generation warfare seems likely to be widely dispersed and largely undefined; the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. It will be nonlinear, possibly to the point of having no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between 'civilian' and 'military' may disappear." It added, "A fourth generation may emerge from non-Western cultural traditions, such as Islamic or Asiatic traditions. The fact that some non-Western areas, such as the Islamic world, are not strong in technology may lead them to develop a fourth generation through ideas rather than technology. The genesis of an idea-based fourth generation may be visible in terrorism. This is not to say that terrorism is fourth generation warfare, but rather that elements of it may be signs pointing toward a fourth generation. Some elements in terrorism appear to reflect the previously noted 'carryovers' from third-generation warfare. The more successful terrorists appear to operate on broad mission orders that carry down to the level of the individual terrorist.

The "battlefield" is highly dispersed and includes the whole of the enemy's society. The terrorist lives almost completely off the land and the enemy. Terrorism is very much a matter of maneuver: the terrorist's firepower is small, and where and when he applies it is critical. Two additional carryovers must be noted as they may be useful "signposts" pointing toward the fourth generation. The first is a component of collapsing the enemy. It is a shift in focus from the enemy's front to his rear.[...] Terrorism takes this a major step further. It attempts to bypass the enemy's military entirely and strike directly at his homeland at civilian targets. Ideally, the enemy's military is simply irrelevant to the terrorist."

The article continues: "The second signpost is the way terrorism seeks to use the enemy's strength against him.[...] Terrorists use a free society's freedom and openness, its greatest strengths, against it. They can move freely within our society while actively working to subvert it. They use our democratic rights not only to penetrate but also to defend themselves.[...] If we are forced to set aside our own system of legal protections to deal with terrorists, the terrorists win another sort of victory."

[17] Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies, September 3, 2010.

[18]The India Quarterly, Tracing the Tenets of Fourth Generation Warfare , June 2010.

[19] The India Quarterly, Tracing the Tenets of Fourth Generation Warfare , June 2010.

[20] Al-Suri's Adaptation of Fourth Generation Warfare Doctrine, Andrew Black, Jamestown Foundation, September 21, 2006.

[21] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), February 9, 2002.

[22] William S. Lind, Col. Keith Nightenagle (USA), Captain John F. Schmitt (USMC), Col. Joseph W. Sutton (USA), and Lt.-Col. Gary I Wilson (USMCR), "The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation," Marine Corps Gazette October 1989 (source from original article in Arabic).

[23] Lind, Nightenagle, et al.

[24] Lt.-Col. Thomas X. Hammes, "The Evolution of War: The Fourth Generation," Marine Corps Gazette, September 1994 (source from original article in Arabic).

[25] Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Washington, D.C. This quote is translated from the Arabic, and is not the original English.

[26] Steven Simpson and Daniel Benjamin, "The Terror," Survival, Vol. 43 No. 4, January 2002 (source from original article in Arabic). Note that this article was published recently.

[27] Vincent J. Goulding Jr., "Back to the Future with Asymmetric Warfare," Parameters, Winter 2000-2001 (source from original article in Arabic).

[28] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 344, Bin Laden Lieutenant Admits to September 11 and Explains Al-Qaeda's Military Doctrine, February 10, 2002, Bin Laden Lieutenant Admits to September 11 and Explains Al-Qa'ida's Combat Doctrine

[29] MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 639, New Trends in Al-Qaeda's Recruitment Efforts: American Muslims Should Carry the Burden of Jihad in U.S., October 19, 2010, New Trend in Al-Qaeda's Recruitment Efforts: American Muslims Should Carry the Burden of Jihad in U.S.

[30] The following text is taken from Al-Suri's book The Global Islamic Resistance Call, Chapter 8, Section 4.

[31] In reference to the verse "And whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such are the disbelievers" [Koran 5: 44]

[32] See the letter "The Responsibility of the people of Yemen towards the Holy Places of Muslims and their wealth" by Abu Musab al-Suri.

[33] "Musharraf's Pakistan – The Problem, the Solution and the Necessary Obligation," from 'The Changing Face of War', Lind, Marine Corps Gazette, October 1989.

[34] Lia, Brynjar (2009). Architect of global jihad: The life of Al Qaeda strategist Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri. Columbia Univ Pr., (pg. 410).

[35] Lia, Brynjar (2009). Architect of global jihad: The life of Al Qaeda strategist Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri. Columbia Univ Pr., (pg. 411-412).

[36] Lia, Brynjar (2009). Architect of global jihad: The life of Al Qaeda strategist Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri. Columbia Univ Pr., (pg. 410-411).

[37] Lia, Brynjar (2009). Architect of global jihad: The life of Al Qaeda strategist Abu Mus'ab Al-Suri. Columbia Univ Pr., (pg. 429).

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