Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Book Review: Future Jihad

In light of the recent arrests of terrorists on both sides of the Atlantic, the book reviewed here has assumed an important immediacy.

Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America, footnoted and indexed, is a riveting read. In its “Introduction,” Dr. Phares begins with a short and emotional description of the events of 9/11 and refers to the day as “The Pearl Harbor of Terrorism.” Having analyzed the jihad phenomenon for twenty-five years prior to 9/11, Dr. Walid Phares, an expert on the Middle East and a senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, seeks to answer ten questions:
(1) Why did the jihadists launch the attacks of September 11?
(2) Are the jihadists planning on future wars?
(3) What can we do about these jihadists?
(4) Are they at war with us? Why? Since when?
(5) What did they want to achieve?
(6) Why didn't we know about it?
(7) Who obstructed our knowledge of it?
(8) Are they planning on future wars?
(9) Have these wars already started?
(10) What can we do about them?
Future Jihad provides historical background and ideological information, but not in an overbearing or difficult-to-understand manner. The opening chapter points out that jihad, a religious duty within Islam, dates from the seventh century and was officially a state business. Perhaps the most chilling material in the book can be found in Chapters 13 and 15, “Projecting Future Jihad” and “America: Jihad’s Second Generation,” respectively. In his concluding chapter, Dr. Phares warns, with some urgency,
“At the end of the next decade, historians will be asking many questions and will face the dilemma of hindsight....[A] stalemate could have been reached as well, if by the middle of this decade several opportunities have been lost.”
This final chapter gravely advises that Americans need to go beyond what they learn in the “educational establishment, which is now becoming an isolated bastion of denial.”

Dr. Phares has done a lifetime of research and is fluent in Arabic, thus able to understand what is being said in various terrorist chat rooms. He believes that proper identification of the adversary and an orderly progression of steps offer hope. Nevertheless, he also points out that jihad is capable of mutation in that a rising generation of jihadists is capable of adaptation, thereby promoting a more sophisticated level of operations.

Dr. Phares' recent commentary on this generation of jihadists was published on June 5, 2006. Excerpt from the introduction to that interview:
"One of the greatest myths about the War on Terror is that our enemy is a static force. Instead, the facts show that since 9/11, Islamist terrorism has been growing and changing in a profoundly dangerous way...."
Dr. Phares’ web site is here, and he also contributes to Counterterrorism Blog, an informative site for current developments related to the topics raised in Dr. Phares' book.


At 6/06/2006 7:28 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From CBS News:

U.S. officials believe Canadian arrests over the weekend and three recent domestic incidents in the United States are evidence the U.S. will soon be hit again by a terrorist attack. Privately, they say, they'd be surprised if it didn't come by the end of the year...

Analysts now conclude similarities between all the cases were dramatic: All were self-financed, self-motivated, and in each case the men were seeking out others to join their cell.

In short, Osama bin Laden didn't pay for these plots, recruit for them or even know of them. They were all totally homegrown — even amateurish. But if four, including the one in Canada, have been uncovered in just 11 months, officials fear there are inevitably other plots that have not been and are maturing even now.

The next attack here, officials predict, will bear no resemblance to Sept. 11. The casualty toll will not be that high, the target probably not that big. We may not even recognize it for what it is at first, they say. But it's coming — of that they seem certain.

Nothing like a story such as the above first thing on the early-morning news.

At 6/06/2006 7:30 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

We are fighting two enemies the treasonous far left and the forces of Jihad. We will never win unless
we adress who these people are.

Dr. Phares makes the same point in his book. He also mentions the importance of a deadline.

We keep missing the boat on these issues, Beak. At least, our leaders and the media do.

At 6/06/2006 7:46 AM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

I am going back to school right now to finish off my degree that I should have done when I was younger and less commited to things like kids

BTW: We won the T-Ball Championship last night! Go Rays!

At any rate, the last class I just took was Western Civ since the 100 years war.

What is profoundly amazing to me is the paradox that our education establishment, whom has the most access and exposure to historical references, seems the most apt to ignore that history and try hard to repeat it.

The attitudes that they display are no different than those of the "enlightenment" that twisted Newton's ideas around to try and make a "man-is-god" society, and pushed the idea that all war is bad.

That led into WWI. Then, the hold over of that mindset won over again in the light of everyone's exhaustion from the "Great War"... and they let slide Hitler, enter WWII.

Let it happen again with Russia, enter Cold War.

Let it happen again, enter 9/11......

Again, amazing that those with the most access to the resources that teach these lessons are those with the hardest heads to learn it.

At 6/06/2006 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In one of Tom Clancey's books, he postulates a jihad attack in a shopping mall. What better place? Especially in the summer? Whole families head to the malls on miserably hot or rainny days, how better to terrorize than shooting children in front of thier parents and parents in front of thier children? Or a day care? or summer school? Many possibilities, and if it happens you can hear the leftistas screaming that the government didn't do enough to stop it! The blatent hypocracy of these people still amazes me! I have reached the point where nothing surprises me anymore, the only exception is when something doesn't!


At 6/06/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Phares has a well-organized book from the description you give. It should be a welcomed addition to the literature and a timely one at that.

As always, both the jihadist movement and our denial are the problem (as we've been saying all along.) The only thing we can do about the latter is keep warning about the former.

New books, even if they reiterate many of the same points, are constantly needed. It looks like Phares also has new details and first-hand knowledge as well as an excellent background. Like our friend Mark Alexander, he's seen first hand the mindset we're up against. If I don't have time to read the book, I might buy a copy to pass along to a friend. Thanks for bring this to our attention.

At 6/06/2006 9:00 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I read Phares' book months ago, when it first came out and wrote the review shortly after reading the book. Somehow, in all the personal rush of life outside the blogosphere, I never got around to posting my review even though I had once intended to around the time of "The Georgia-Tech Jihad." After what's been happening in recent days, I decided to take another look at both the review draft and the book.

Mark's book is more ideologically oriented. Phares monitors the jihadi chatrooms and, therefore, has a different vantage point. Apparently, in those chatrooms is where the Canadian group began.

I try to read as many of Phares' updates as I can.

BTW, Dr. Phares spoke at the pre-Symposium event. He's a fantastic speaker in person--incrediby dynamic! That aspect doesn't come across in his TV interviews, possibly because he likes to move around when he speaks. I wish that I'd had more college profs with his skills.

At 6/06/2006 9:02 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

You're back in school? Now I understand why you're not around the blogosphere so often. So, how are classes going?

What is profoundly amazing to me is the paradox that our education establishment, whom has the most access and exposure to historical references, seems the most apt to ignore that history and try hard to repeat it.

That's the way of academia now. As a college professor, Dr. Phares frequently mentions the ivory towers which have a disconnect from reality.

At 6/06/2006 9:19 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Soft targets everywhere! If every Muslim were a terrorist, we'd be done for.

Remember these words in the CBS report to which I linked in a previous comment:

The casualty toll will not be that high, the target probably not that big. We may not even recognize it for what it is at first...


Yesterday, I noticed the following at Truth Hurts:

Been away from the blog for a week. Training up Virigina way, including a Homeland Security briefing..a real eye-opener, as they always are. It's a shame this country's successes can't be publicized...

PS: As I was proofing this comment, I thought back to 9/11, when we didn't at first know what was happening. That first plane crash into the WTC was thought by most of us to be a tragic accident; the ensuing attacks, however, brought us to the reality.

And I remember another attack shortly after 9/11, when a teenager flew a private plane into a Bank of America building in Florida. Nobody but that teenager was killed; Al-Qaeda literature was found in the airplane. As I recall, this youth was American-born and had an American name; nevertheless, he was a militant Muslim. He seems to have been a lone-wolf jihadist who answered OBL's call.

Now, of course, we have jihadists financially independent of OBL, but they are ideologically linked and closely. Dr. Phares made that point in the speech which I heard on April 28. Gotta dig out those notes!

At 6/06/2006 9:20 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The public will be confused. Islam will be pushing the boundaries of public perception.

Those two things are happening now.

Ostriches never see attacks coming when their heads are stuck into the sand.

At 6/06/2006 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the merry widow said...
"...how better to terrorize than shooting children in front of thier parents and parents in front of thier children? Or a day care? or summer school? Many possibilities, and if it happens you can hear the leftistas screaming that the government didn't do enough to stop it! "

Not sure about that. The moonbats will still see the jihadists as the victims. Check out this quote from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2212130,00.html

"To a dismaying extent, the British have signed up to the false narrative of those who are laying siege to their society.

The problem lies in a refusal to acknowledge that Islamist extremism is rooted in religion. Instead, ministers and security officials prefer to think of it as a protest movement against grievances such as Iraq or Palestine, or 'Islamophobia'. They simply ignore the statements and signs that show unequivocally that the aim is to Islamicise the West.

In large measure, this is the outcome of a profound loss of cultural nerve. The doctrines of multiculturalism and minority rights, themselves the outcome of a systematic onslaught by the British elite against the country’s own identity and values, have paralysed the establishment, which accordingly shies away from criticising any minority for fear of being labelled as bigoted.

As a result, it ignored the radicalisation of many British Muslims by extremist Islamic institutions. Worse still, 'grievance culture' has meant that instead of fighting the paranoia and lies driving the Islamists’ hatred of the West, British society is afflicted by the very same pathology.

Minority rights doctrine has produced a moral inversion, in which those doing wrong are excused if they belong to a 'victim' group, while those at the receiving end of their behaviour are blamed simply because they belong to the 'oppressive' majority. "

OK, this is what's happened to Britain. But moonbats are moonbats the world over. Like muslims, they're a clone. They cannot be individuated. Once you've heard the spiel from one you've heard it from all.

If a group of Muzzies did massacre an American school, you can be sure that the leftists would insist that these poor victims of Islamophobia received post-traumatic stress counselling.

At 6/06/2006 11:54 AM, Blogger Freedomnow said...

So let me get this straight, Ducky wants to allow low-level terrorist activity. Just ignore terrorists that are recruiting operatives on the Internet, don't worry about it.

Nevermind the low level terrorists, here's Ducky...

At 6/06/2006 12:40 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

"Low level terrorists" can be dangerous as well. And apparently they use chatrooms. From this source:

...So when a shadowy group of disaffected urban youth began talking in an Internet chat room in the fall of 2004 espousing anti-Western views, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service was listening.

The spy agency, and an alphabet soup of other security agencies across the continent, closely monitor such sites, where talk may sometimes turn to buildings and bombs and bringing global jihad home to North America, to Canada.

Often it's just that — talk — but when CSIS began monitoring the sites allegedly used by some of the 17 men and youths arrested on terrorism-related charges in a sweeping series of raids across the GTA Friday evening, the Canadian spy agency heard enough to remain interested, and increased surveillance of the group....

More info at the above link.

At 6/06/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

AOW, I'm doing "distance learning"... i.e. I just want the dang piece of paper so that I can be qualified for the higher up positions at work... I'v got the know-how portion down, but as we all know, you've got to play the game, and one of the rules is that you've got to have the piece of paper.

At 6/06/2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Mike's America said...

Intersting... Dicky Duck has been in the forefront of those who would put the handcuffs on the same folks responsible for "connecting the dots" and is among those only too eager to reveal and neutralize the sources and methods we used to catch, and interrorgate the big fish.

And he asks Freedom now :" Are YOU being serious."

Some of us are VERY serious about this issue. Some are more interested in playing games.

At 6/06/2006 5:22 PM, Blogger Mike's America said...

So.... why is it that Al Queda was still using satellite phones until the lamestream media broke the news that we were monitoring the calls?

Really... it is hilarious Dicky!

If you were really serious about this matter you wouldn't spend so much time defending those who handcuff law enforcement and the military.

But I am not surprised!

At 6/06/2006 6:44 PM, Blogger Freedomnow said...

Phone lists are valuable tools for police work. The police routinely pull phone records when doing their work and that doesnt require a warrant.

Its pretty damn obvious. If you look at a terrorist suspect's phone records then you know who his possible accomplices are.

If this helps you catch the stupid ones, then so be it. The stupid ones are always the talkers and that helps you net the smart ones.

Its elementary my dear Watson

At 6/06/2006 9:21 PM, Blogger Dan Zaremba said...

Joint Islamic Courts (Yemeni funded Al-Oaida branch) took over Mogadishu from other "less pious" warlords.

Places to watch:
Bangladesh, Sudan, Chad.

At 6/07/2006 5:40 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The piece of paper is the ticket and often counts for more than the know-how.

Missing Link,
I saw that news about Mogadishu.

BTW, have you ever seen the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy? In the film, warlords sporting automatic rifles are roaming around, ten to a jeep. I saw a similar picture in the newspaper the other day, but the picture was for real and showed warlords in a jeep in Mogadishu.

At 6/07/2006 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kev- You forgot, Jimmah Cahtah!


At 6/09/2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Kiddo said...

Oh GAWD!!! Do NOT mention Jimmy Carter! My blood boils at the mention of that name. I'm currently on a rage to get my beloved home state to disown the little traitor. Georgia has too many blights already, we don't need Carter too.


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