Wednesday, December 13, 2006

All Sectarian Violence is NOT created equally ...

Counter-terrorism quote for the day:

The alternative formulation of why sectarian violence is fomented has much to do with stirring up old and ancient rivalries for the sake of creating a base of operations.

"Mixed" neighborhoods make it hard to consolidate power.

Such bases cannot be left to fester, if history is any guide. It is for this reason that counter-terror strategies must also deal with sectarian violence and not think of them solely as a matter that is unrelated *intrinsically* to overall objectives.

The General Guidelines for Al-Jemaah Islamiah Struggle - otherwise known as the PUPJI - outlines the three phases of jihad: iman (faith of individuals), hijrah (building a base of operations) and then jihad qital (fighting the enemies of Islam). Right now, JI is focusing on the iman and hijrah until it has the capability for jihad qital. To that end, it is employing a three-tined strategy: recruitment and proliferation of cells, engaging in sectarian conflict and engaging in social welfare.

Top wrote an 82-page tract based on the theoretical model espoused by Abu Musab al-Suri, al-Qa'ida's leading theorist, on how to establish loosely affiliated jihadi cells. With a secure base in MILF camps in Mindanao, JI can effectively regroup.

JI is also redoubling its "uhud project" of fomenting sectarian violence in Central Sulawesi and the Malukus in order to create a pure Islamic zone from which it can emanate. Since 2004, bombings, targeted assassinations, and raids on military-police facilities have become regular. Attacks, including the beheading of three schoolgirls, are meant to undermine confidence in the state and give members a sense of defending their religion. JI is out to undermine the Malino Accords and engage in Islamist vigilantism.

Finally, JI is adopting a Hamas-style model, focusing on social work and charity - what I refer to as the "inverse triangle" - to build up its popular support and forge greater links to Islamist parties and organisations. link

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