There's a report in Guardian G2 today on the Jihadis who have been making their way into Iraq from, or via, Syria. Some highlights:
Abu Ibrahim's goal is to re-establish the Islamic caliphate, and he sees the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan as one of the few true Islamic governments since the time of the Prophet. He thinks the Qur'an is "a constitution, a law to govern the world".One might be more encouraged by this:
"We read the mother of all books and then we started to know the truth."
"September 11 gave us the media coverage. It was a great day..."
Two weeks after September 11 they decided to have a celebration. They called it "the Festival of America the Wounded Wolf"...
... One festival was called "the people of Cham will now defeat the Jews and kill them all".
With the beginning of the Iraq war came the jihad frenzy, and the busloads of mujahideen. Saddam's government considered them manna from heaven; as the Americans rapidly advanced, they branded them Arab Saddam Fedayeen, and gave them weapons and basic training. But when Baghdad fell, the stories the Syrians brought home were bad. Often the Iraqis shot at them or handed them over to the Americans.And by this:
[A] few months later, he and a group of Syrian and Saudi jihadis crossed the border just as the Iraqi insurgency was getting into full swing. Fifty fighters went in total, Abu Ibrahim says now, but after a few months he returned to Syria with three others - the only surviving members of the group.But Abu Ibrahim is untroubled:
"They think jihad will stop if they kill hundreds of us in Iraq. They don't know what they are facing. Every day, more and more young men from around the Muslim world are awaking and coming to the jihad. Now the Americans are facing thousands, but one day soon they will have to face whole nations."The author of the article, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, says:
His views are severe, narrowly defined and impractical. But it is important to understand his anger and his contradictions, because Abu Ibrahim is as close to al-Qaida as it is possible to get.Yes, important to understand, in order to defeat.