August 6, 2018 No.

On Telegram, Jihadis Release English Book Sanctioning ‎Attacks In West, Calling Muslims There To Focus On ‎Military, Law Enforcement, Political, Economic Targets

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On July 20, 2018, the Telegram channel "Distance of a Month's Journey Media" published a book titled "Jihad Without Borders – Attacks In The West From An Islamic Perspective," which justifies jihad in the West and calls upon Muslims, especially those living in the West, to carry out attacks. The book, which relies on various traditional Islamic sources, presents the concept of "borderless jihad" as clear and indisputable matter, the carrying out of which is incumbent upon every capable Muslim. The book provides a list of possible targets for such attacks, instructing Muslims to focus on military, law enforcement, political, and economic targets, or on "those who are openly and well known for their enmity towards Islam and the Muslims." The book suggests using targeted assassinations, but also indiscriminate methods, especially "in situations or places in which there are not likely to be innocents, such as in military barracks or installations, political conferences, far-right anti-Islam demos and gatherings, and at offices similar to that of [French satirical weekly] Charlie Hebdo."

The book, according to its introduction, aims at demystifying concepts related to jihad, especially misconceptions held by Muslims living in the West regarding its nature and scope. It says: "Much has been said about 'Islamic terrorism' in light of recent attacks in the West, targeting the US, Britain, France, and a number of other European countries. Western politicians and commentators appear to have reached a consensus that such 'barbaric' attacks have nothing to do with Islam and are the sole actions of a small group of extremists, bent on distorting the religion of Islam to justify their actions. Indeed, many Muslims also echo these sentiments, stating unequivocally that these 'actions, and individuals have nothing to do with Islam,' effectively reinforcing the Western narrative. However, this discourse seems to ignore one important voice – Islam's. Western governments and media has for a number of years attempted to dictate to Muslims what Islam is, or should be – A version of Islam compatible with western ideals, principles, and (global) interests. Unfortunately, many Muslims, especially in the West, have become confused with these conflicting narratives – that of the West's, and that of Islam's. Consequently, many are now in doubt as to what the 'Islamic perspective' is on a range of contemporary (and some old) issues faced by Muslims in the twenty-first century, with one such issue being that of Jihad."

The 68-page PDF-format book is written in clean British English and appears to have been written originally in English as opposed to being translated from another language, such as Arabic. Its author is listed as Abdullah Ash-Shaybani, also transliterated Al-Shaybani. The book is dated October 4, 2017, and according to its publishing house, Distance Of A Month's Journey Publications, it is based on a chapter from another unreleased book, also by Shaybani, titled "The Book of Qital: The Foundations Of Jihad, Its Contemporary History, Strategy and Tactics of Islamic Warfare, And Their Related Rulings."

The announcement about the book on Telegram read: "In the aftermath of recent Jihadi operations carried out in the West, the debate regarding the Islamic perspective of such actions has become a major discourse in academic and political circles. Brother Abdullah Ash-Shaybani in his work 'Jihad Without Borders' aims to clarify the Islamic position regarding such acts of violence. JIHAD WITHOUT BORDERS, OUT NOW!!!"

The release of the book on Telegram on July 20, 2018.

Book cover.

The book includes several chapters including an introduction and definition of "key terms," as well as a review of the concept of jihad in Koran and during the times of Muhammad and his companions. Much of the book deals with jihad in modern times, discussing terrorism as a global jihad "without borders"; jihad as a "just and equal retaliation"; and providing a list of targets for carrying out attacks in the West.  

Table of contents.

The following are excerpts taken from the book in the original English. While the text was lightly edited for clarity, italicized and bold words below were italicized and bold in the original.

Excerpts From Chapter Titled "Terrorism: A Global Jihad Without Borders"

"There should be no remaining doubt in the minds of the readers regarding the misconception that seeks to restrict Jihad to being merely a tool of self-defense, after reviewing the preceding evidence from the Koran, and the actions of the Prophet. And even when it is used in a defensive capacity, its nature is still extremely aggressive and intimidating... Nor is Jihad restricted to particular lands (i.e. the lands of the Muslims) or particular times...

"Likewise, evidence points towards the obligatory nature of Jihad, and that the Muslims are permitted, nay, even obliged at times, to pursue the disbelievers in their lands; because of the latter's disbelief and aggression against Islam and the Muslims... Therefore, in order for the Muslims to fulfil this obligation of terrorizing the disbelievers, they are required to amass and demonstrate military capability, comparable to today's concept of the military deterrent...

"In conjunction, the Muslims may also employ a military policy and tactics, such as those employed by the Messenger of Allah and his companions to achieve the objective of terrorizing Allah's and their enemies. Tactics such as:

"· Pre-emptively striking the disbelievers upon the receipt of intelligence suggesting they are preparing to attack the Muslims.

"· In addition, they constantly reconnoitered and executed ambushes targeting any military column or trade caravan belonging to the Quraysh that they were able to reach.

"· The Messenger of Allah also prepared and dispatched special operations units which neutralized key figures and incendiary elements from amongst the disbelievers.

"Tactics that, when, and if, employed today by the Muslims would no doubt be blasted as extremism, 'not representing Islam,' and a host of other unsavory interpretations, by an abundance of western commentators, counter-terror and extremism experts, and moderates...

"However, the Muslims need not be concerned about such accusations, condemnations, and attacks from those who are neither familiar with Islam, nor are they remotely interested in alleviating the Muslims' plight. Rather, these critics, from their own mouths, are admittedly open adversaries to the Muslims, and intent on the destruction of Islam...

"Moreover, the world's elite Special Forces units, many of which belong to western so-called 'tolerant,' 'just' and 'democratic' nations, without exception, all subscribe to the very same tactics against their enemies (which today, are more often than not, the Muslims). This is clearly evident in the way they expend so much of their time and resources preparing, training for, researching and developing such tactics. As such, the hypocrisy of the one who supports and promotes this behavior from western militaries and intelligence agencies, while condemning in the strongest possible terms the very same actions carried out by Muslims, becomes glaringly apparent. Perhaps it is because the Muslims are 'terrorists' and non-state actors there is a moral difference. However, people would do well to remember these same western nations were instrumental in the decline, division and eventual abolition of the Islamic Caliphate. Not only that, but they continue work tirelessly to prevent every project, without exception, working to re-establish any semblance of a potential future Islamic state from achieving this..."

Excerpts From Chapter Titled "Jihad: Just And Equal Retaliation"

"Consequently, it ought to be declared to the disbelievers in the West, 'even if the Muslims do err in their attacks against you, such as when people that should not have been, and could have been avoided, are harmed, what you and your governments are doing is even worse!' Muslim men, women, children, and elderly are massacred indiscriminately without respite, such as is currently the case in more than a dozen Muslim countries. However, perhaps even more detrimental than this, many western countries have adopted deliberate and systematic policies designed, such as the UK's Prevent, to strip away the religion of their Muslim inhabitants. Consequently, many of the 'basic liberties and freedoms' the West prides itself on, are withheld from the Muslims. Freedoms such as, the freedom to practice their religion in the way Allah intended, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of dress, and more are all curtailed, ironically enough, in the name of freedom, tolerance, and western values...

"The US, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Russia, all have been guilty of similar exploits, albeit at different times and in slightly different manners. However, one fact remains the same; all of these western nations historically relied heavily on indiscriminate acts of violence and mass terrorism to achieve their political and economic goals. Facts that the Muslims of the Middle East, North Africa, and Caucuses can readily attest to, along with the Japanese of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Jews of Nazi Germany. Today is little different, with many of these same nations currently relying on the same tactics to achieve their ambitions...

"Allah commands the believers to respond to the assaults of the disbelievers in, at least, a like-fashioned manner except if this would involve sin and disobedience to Allah... As such, Muslims are indisputably justified to treat countries such as the US, Britain, France, Russia, Israel, Iran, and China, in exactly the same way as they are currently treating Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chechnya, East Turkistan, Burma, and others. These Muslim countries are subject to regular assaults consisting of drone strikes, bombing campaigns, and ground incursions, by one or more of these (primarily Western) nations. The vast majority of those targeted and affected by this aggression and oppression are non-combatants, mostly consisting of women, children, elderly, and weak Muslims..."

Excerpts From Chapter Titled "Establishing A Proactive And Dynamic Islamic Defense Model"

"Furthering the above discussion clarifying the legitimacy of Muslim retaliation, logic and military strategy both, dictate a compelling case for the presently defensive Muslims to seize the initiative, becoming proactive in countering the global war on Islam. Thus, abandoning a passive, and at best, reactionary approach towards the unprecedented aggression against their religion, lives, wealth, and honor, they are currently being subjected to. Such a passive attitude, to date, has resulted in the disbelievers' frequent assaults against the Muslims, and when the Muslims do resist, the recurring channeling of the Mujahidin into pockets of severely limited influence. These pockets are then managed and contained by the powerful disbelieving nations, herded in much the same way as a flock of sheep is from pasture to pasture before, at days end, finally being driven to its pen, as can be seen in the current situations in Syria and elsewhere.

"Regrettably, such behavior on the part of the Muslims is in stark contrast to the example displayed by the Messenger of Allah, who, after being subject to a month-long siege and the severest attack the Muslim had faced until that point, resolved never to allow the Muslims to be put in such a precarious situation again... Another sentiment the Muslims would do well to adopt, in conjunction with the Prophet's attitude, is the well-known maxim; 'the best form of defense is a good offense'...

"Consequently, if the disbelievers continue to attack and plunder the wealth and resources of Muslims in their lands, then the Muslims should be expected to respond in, at least, a similar fashion, if not more, as a just and equal recompense to the formers aggression. What is more, even if the disbelievers were not busy assaulting the Muslims and their lands, fighting them would still be justified because of their disbelief in Allah, and as a preventative measure curtailing their ability to spread corruption, transgression, and oppression globally...

"Therefore, the Muslims have a number of divinely legislated clauses that rationalize them attacking the disbelievers. This is above and beyond their basic right to defend themselves, for in this global conflict their religion and very existence is at stake. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair highlighted this fact when he said, 'We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early twenty-first century, about global values.' While another former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, described the conflict as being of an 'existential' nature. So, if the very heads of the West are openly admitting that, for their civilization to exist and endure, they must fight the Muslims, then why are the Muslims not appreciating the magnitude of the conflict and fighting them with the same resolve?

"Hence, in responding to this existential threat, it is essential that the Muslims view themselves not at individuals, or tribes, or as citizens of nation states, but as part of the wider Muslim community (Ummah) that comprises of every Muslim on earth. Thus, Muslims in the East and West share a faith-based connection superseding all other allegiances and loyalties... This Islamic brotherhood practically translates as the Muslims in the West are struck with same feeling of pain and anguish that the Muslims in the East are experiencing, stirring them to take revenge on their brothers and sisters behalf. This is because they know that the Muslims in the East are powerless to retaliate against US, British, or Russian fighter jets that bomb their lands with impunity. Therefore, the Muslim in the West attacks a military installation, soldiers, or leader of the (offending) disbelievers in solidarity with his or her Muslim brethren, despite hundreds or thousands of kilometers separating them... They also recognize that one soldier beheaded on the streets of London has a greater impact on the global conflict than one thousand soldiers killed in the lands of the Muslims. So, if the Muslims are unable to connect with each other physically, they are able to connect emotionally, spiritually, and conceptually, coordinating their efforts as part of a global Jihadi defensive strategy..."

Excerpts From Chapter Titled "Practical Implications"

"The preceding evidence from the Koran and the Sunnah of His final Messenger Muhammad, should serve as proof that, far from being prohibited, or un-Islamic, attacking the disbelievers in their counties is not only firmly sanctioned in Islam, but at times obligatory, according to the capability of the Muslims. Having established this point, a number of questions arise:

"· Even though such attacks are Islamically permissible, should the Muslims carry out such attacks?

"· If Muslims do conduct such attacks;

"i. How should these operations be carried out, and

"ii. Who can, and should, be targeted by these operations?

"In tackling the first question as to should the Muslims carry out such attacks, the legal status of Jihad must first be classified, according to the agreed upon tenets of Islamic Jurisprudence. According to the consensus of Islamic scholars... Jihad alternates between a collective obligation (which is its default ruling), as in the case of 'Offensive Jihad,' and an individual obligation, as is the case with 'Defensive Jihad'...

"Accordingly, the only question as to the obligatory nature regarding attacking the disbelievers in their countries, as part of an offensive Jihadi strategy, rests on the Muslims ability to prepare and conduct such operations. However, when Jihad becomes defensive in nature, it evolves into an individual obligation as agreed upon by all Islamic scholars... Therefore... Jihad in this era is, without a doubt, an individual obligation on all able-bodied Muslims...

"At present, conducting operations against the disbelievers in their countries appears to fall clearly within the first and fifth categories. As for the first category, attacking the disbelievers aims at repelling, or deterring their harm. This may well be done, and is currently being done, throughout the battlefields in many Muslim countries. However, perhaps, and Allah knows best, a far more affective and economic method is for Muslims to prevent the disbelieving soldiers, by killing or injuring them, before they have even set off from their countries in order to attack the Muslims, rather than waiting for them to wreak their havoc on the Muslims once they have reached the Muslim's countries... A contemporary example of this occurred in the 2009 Fort Hood operation conducted by Nidal Hassan, who single-handedly attacked a US army barracks, killing thirteen and wounding more than thirty US soldiers as they prepared to leave for Afghanistan...

"Attacks, especially in which (western) disbelieving captives are taken, may also be employed to secure the release, or exchange of Muslim prisoners...

"Therefore, after considering the question from these angles, it seems that attacking the disbelievers in their countries is, in fact, an obligation on the Muslims from both, offensive and defensive perspectives. The only preventative factor barring the Muslims from undertaking such operations is their inability or weakness... Consequently, the first question now ceases to be an enquiry as to should the Muslims attack the disbelievers in their countries, but rather that the Muslims are required, if they have the capability to do so, to perform such attacks and operations..."

Excerpts From Chapter Titled "Valid Targets"

"Following, the question remains as to 'how these operations should be carried out, and against whom,' which according to the preceding evidence, appears to be the real debate Muslims should be engaged in regarding the issue of attacks in West. In answering these questions, the first point of reference for the believer, is, as always, the Koran...

"An analysis of the Messenger of Allah's Jihad against the disbelievers reveals that he and his companions conducted various types of operations... As such, any operations carried out by the Muslims today should aim to conform to the practices of the Messenger of Allah and his companions in this regard. In addition, all reasonable attempts should be made to adhere to the general advice of the Prophet concerning the intentional killing of women, children, and the elderly. Furthermore, all attempts should be made to avoid physically harming Muslims living alongside the disbelievers in their countries, resulting from such attacks.

"In addition to the general prohibition on the intentional targeting of women, children, and the elderly, the principle of avoiding otherwise Islamically permissible actions, in order to avert potential harm that would befall the Muslim's reputation, if such acts were carried out...

"The same principle may be applied in today's context wherein the deliberate targeting of women, children, the elderly (non-combatants), and places of worship, by the Muslims will, in many cases, have adverse effects far outweighing the potential gains of such operations. Another group possible to add to the above categories is that of those people not hostile towards Islam or the Muslims. Indeed, some of them, far from displaying hostility, may even be of great benefit and assistance to the Muslims and their causes...

"Hence, while the Muslims possess both opportunity and ability, their attacks would do well to focus on military, law enforcement, political, and economic targets, or those who are openly and well known for their enmity towards Islam and the Muslims... are all applicable and feasible for the Muslims, especially those already residing in the disbelievers' countries.

"As with all Jihadi operations in general, attacks in the disbelievers' countries should be no exception, to the rule that, when and wherever possible, all Jihadi operations should be utilized in furthering a broader global Islamic Jihadi strategy...

"With consideration to how these attacks are to be carried out, there are a number of means at the disposal of the Muslims today. Each having its own specific benefits and potential harms, which should be considered, along with a number of additional factors, by the people of knowledge, experience, and insight, prior to any such operation being undertaken.

"Some of the more discriminate methods include targeted assassinations... these surgically targeted key individuals and criminals from amongst the disbelievers. In general, this form of targeted operation greatly minimizes collateral damage to members of the public and otherwise uninvolved parties. While more indiscriminate methods and techniques may be employed in situations or places in which there are not likely to be innocents, such as in military barracks or installations, political conferences, far-right anti-Islam demos and gatherings, and at offices similar to that of Charlie Hebdo, which present far less concern over the issue of collateral damage.

"Such targets, that exhibit clear and open hostility towards Islam and the Muslims, truthful members of the public, even if they do not agree with such operations on the part of the Muslims, would be hard pressed to argue on behalf of any victims belonging to the aforementioned categories. Thus, justification for the Muslims attacking such targets is clear and apparent, in both, religious texts as well as from a logical perspective, despite any attempts of western media to obscure motives behind such attacks. As opposed to (the majority of) attempts to justify apparently random mass attacks against civilians in the West. As such, whilst there is the opportunity to pursue more lucrative targets, the neutralization of which, it is presumed, would have a greater impact in favor of the Muslims in the contemporary global War against Islam, should be focused on..."