They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Monday, February 24, 2014

Abu Musab al-Suri killed in Syria

News of the death of  Abu Musab al-Suri will come as a blow to AQ and to those seeking an end to infighting amongst salafist jihadists in Syria. In the excerpt below, from his pamphlet titled “Observations on the Jihadist Experience in Syria”, he outlines some prerequisites for successful jihad. From lessons learned previously in places such as Algeria - where the bloodthirsty GIA demonstrated how to lose a war by alienating all but your own hard core of followers - al-Suri understood that wanton violence without a shred of political justification or a credible end game is counter productive to the cause - and as in Iraq during the days of al-Zarqawi will lead to failure.  ISIS are apparently on the same path as al-Zarqawi.  They will alienate just about everyone, until they themselves are hunted down and executed with the same uncompromising brutality as they show for their enemies. Their enemies being everyone else. 

Without doubt Al-Suri was a terrorist.  However, he was also a brilliant strategist and a prolific and influential writer.

 "Knowledge is the most important weapon of this age. The ignorant cannot lead this important struggle no matter how sincere and dedicated they are." —Abu Mus‘ab al Suri, The Call to Global Islamic Resistance

In his pamphlet “Observations on the Jihadist Experience in Syria,” taken from his longer book on Syria, Al-Suri captured the need for a strategic approach to jihad.17 He details lessons learned from every aspect of the Syrian insurrection, but his overarching message is that jihad will fail if it is not treated as a form of guerrilla warfare based on classic communist strategic thinking about insurrection, minus communist ideology. Both the topography and demography of the target country must be studied. Revolutionaries need to operate within the target country and rely on themselves. They must have a detailed plan that benefits from both study of the target country and lessons learned from other Muslim and non-Muslim guerrilla wars. Jihadists must be close to the people and unite them under a well-conceived ideology and political concept.

Ryan, Michael W. S. (2013-07-30). Decoding Al-Qaeda's Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) (Kindle Locations 3952-3958). Columbia University Press. Kindle Edition.