Thursday, December 10, 2009

Leaderless Jihad? What Rumors about Abu Yahya al-Libi's Death & the Commotion Caused among Cyber Jihadis Tell Us

Screenshot from a July 30 video released from al-Qa'ida Central's (AQC) media wing, al-Sahab (The Clouds): "Somalia: Summer's Cloud has Lifted."

Note (3:05 A.M. EST, December 11): Please see the "Comments" section for an important critique by alle from the excellent blog on all things North Africa, Maghreb Politics Review.

UPDATE (12:53 P.M., December 11): The same group of cyber jihadis are now reporting that Abu Yahya is "100%" (as opposed to only 80%) and "alive." Updates to follow as they become available. Some members are suggesting a revamping of forum rules to prevent "rumors from the kuffar [unbelievers]" to "pollute" the forum. The thread was started by a user in Pakistan (the same clown who made the horribly juvenile Lord of the Rings video about Prof. Jarret Brachman.

UPDATE #2 (1:43 P.M., December 11): CBS News is reporting that "local" Pakistani media is reporting that Abu Yahya was killed in the drone strike. No official confirmation from the U.S. or Pakistani governments, or al-Qa'ida Central.

UPDATE #3 (2:43 P.M., December 11): A third forum thread now says Abu Yahya has been "martyred," eliciting a heated response about the use of "non-mujahideen" media sources. There is also disagreement about when he was supposedly killed, with one forum user saying he was killed on Tuesday and not yesterday.

UPDATE #4 (2:55 P.M.): In the second thread (Update #2), user "dandapeerofpak" adamantly says that he has "confirmed" that Abu Yahya is NOT dead, but "Sheikh -----Shami of AQ" (perhaps Mansur al-Shami?) has been killed. They say the leader was killed in a Tuesday strike near Miran Shah in North Waziristan in Pakistan, not Thursday. No official confirmation.

The first post in the third thread (Update #3) has been "deleted On Request Of Members," in the same thread in which dandapeerofpak's adamant denial of the claim appears.


UPDATE #5 (4:01 P.M.): The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous source(s) seemingly using information from "Pakistani sources", reports that Abu Yahya was killed in North Waziristan near Miran Shah. No official confirmation.

UPDATE #6 (4:31 P.M.): ABC News reports that AQC "operations planner" Saleh al-Somali was killed in a Tuesday drone strike in Pakistan. (Hat tip to AbuMandM). AbuMandM notes that the Abu Yahya rumor seems to be connected to the Thursday strike in South Waziristan. Posts on The War Journal's Threat Matrix blog and al-Sahwa strategic affairs blog are leaning toward the belief that Abu Yahya was not killed.

UPDATE #7 (4:57 P.M.): The Times Online, a British newspaper, cites "senior Pakistani security officials" who say Abu Yahya was killed, with help from intelligence provided by Pakistan (of course).

UPDATE #8 (2:23 A.M., December 12): China's Xinhua news agency is citing sources connected to the "Pakistan Taliban" (unclear which group...perhaps Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan) who are denying reports that Abu Yahya was killed. TTP also denied its founder, Baytullah Mehsud, was killed in early August, but weeks later admitted he had "succumbed" to his wounds.

United States government officials are claiming to have killed at lease four people, including a "top leader" in al-Qa'ida Central (AQC), in an airstrike today in the Ladha region of South Waziristan in Pakistan's Pashtun tribal belt. The attack was reportedly carried out by an unmanned military drone, either a Predator or Reaper, which have been used with great success. Several top AQC leaders and their allies have been assassinated by drones, the most recent of which was Baytullah (Baitullah) Mehsud, the founder and former leader of Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan), who was killed in August. The Pakistani government and military is reportedly denying that a drone strike was carried out today. Mainstream news agencies are citing an anonymous U.S. government source who says the leader killed was not AQC chief Usama bin Laden or the group's chief ideologue, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Abu Yahya al-Libi (center) with AQC leaders Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri (left) and Usama bin Laden (right), over a photograph of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam's holiest shrines.

Rumors are spreading among some cyber jihadis that this as-yet unnamed "top" AQC leader may be Abu Yahya al-Libi, who is considered by some expert analysts to be a rising star in the transnational jihadi movement. A skilled orator and respected jihadi-Salafi theologian, Abu Yahya first gained renown in 2005 when he and several other prisoners escaped from the U.S. military base at Bagram in Afghanistan (which was also a former Soviet base). Since then, he has appeared in dozens of AQC video productions and has addressed jihadis across the globe from Somalia to East Turkestan to North Africa, though he is believed to be (or have been) operating out of Pashtun areas of Pakistan. It is believed that he pursued formal studies in Islamic law and other religious studies in Mauritania, though some analysts dispute this claim. Regardless, Abu Yahya is a respected "theologian" among AQC supporters and has even recorded aural exegesis (tafsir) of the Qur'an. Making use of his theological credentials, real or embellished, he has written essays and monographs on a number of subjects, including condemning the Pakistani government and military as apostate institutions, how Muslim spies are to be punished, and whether and when it is permissible to kill other Muslims when engaged in warfare.

I have previously mentioned or written about Abu Yahya numerous times, but to take but one EXAMPLE.

Screenshot from the AQC video "The West and the Dark Tunnel," produced by the group's Al-Sahab (The Clouds) Media Foundation and released on September 22.

A handful of members on one of the Ansarnet jihadi-Salafi forums have been involved in a lively discussion and debate about the rumor of Abu Yahya's death. Their passionate exchange suggests that the role of charismatic leaders and ideologues, which has been downplayed or written-off by some analysts, may not be so passé after all. In the remainder of this post, I will provide an annotated sketch of the discussion, interspersed with some artwork of Abu Yahya from my research archive. Explanatory notes appear in bold in brackets. All stylistic and grammatical errors have been left unedited, and different color or style fonts are in the original with the exception of the explanatory notes.

Reacting to the initial, single-line post about the rumor, user "Binyamine" says that he is "happy for the sheikh, and we should all pray that Allah [the one God] azza wajal [the Exalted] accept him amongst the martyr. BUT YET JIHAAD SHALL CONTINUE!!! inshaAllah [God willing]." They then warn, "InshaAllah we should wait for an official communique."

Another user follows up by posting a URL to an MSNBC online news story about the reported drone strike, eliciting excited questions from other users who cannot find a reference to Abu Yahya in it (because there aren't any).

Cyber poster about the persecution of Turkic Uyghurs in East Turkestan at the hands of the Chinese government and Han Chinese settlers, featuring Abu Yahya al-Libi. He addressed the recent uptick in persecution of Uyghurs in an October 6 video release, "East Turkestan: The Forgotten Wound."

Forum moderator "Asadullah Alshishani" [the Chechen] questions the reliability of the reports, writing: "First don't believe the words of the jews and KKKrusaders over that of the Mujahideen [warriors of faith], who thus far have said nothing." Aside from seemingly being familiar with vintage Ice Cube, Asadullah Alshishani (who uses a photograph of Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan as his avatar), accurately points out that no official statement has been made by AQC or affiliated groups.

He then says that even if the rumor is true, it is joyous news: "If then, then may God accept Sheikh Abu Yahya from amongst the Shuhada [martyrs] and grant him Jannat Al-Firdaws [Gardens of Paradise]. He has been rewarded with what we are all desperately seeking, martyrdom fi sibeel Allah [in God's path]."

In contrast, user "Saifullah al-Shimali", whose first name translates to "Sword of God," is dismayed by the rumor: "I can't find any news about it anywhere!! InshAllah its only a rumour!!" He has an interesting signature quote (in all caps): "Harban Alaa Kulli Harbin Silman Bikulli Musaalim...War to Every Aggressor and Peace to Every Peaceful Ones."

User "Asad'Allah" ["Lion of God"] follows Saifullah by posting a screenshot of a smiling Abu Yahya from one of his AQC videos.

Abu Yahya al-Libi: "Hello, ladies......"

The user who began the thread, "Sheikh_34," seeks to smooth over the ruckus he caused by summarizing his motives and the "facts" known thus far: "brothers I just wanted to tell you what I heard from other forums and contacts of mine. inshallah we will soon know if Shaykh al Libi is amongst the blessed shuhada or still fighting fisabilillah! U$ say it is NOT SHAYKH OSAMA but a very high ranking member of al Qaidat Shura [AQC's ruling council], could be Shaykh al Yazeed, Azzam al Amriki, Dr.Zawahiri or others, may Allah swt protect them all!." He references the general commander of AQC forces in Afghanistan (Mustafa Abu al-Yazid), the American AQC spokesman Adam Gadahn (who is known as 'Azzam al-Amriki, "the American"), and the group's chief ideologue, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, a medical doctor by training.

After Saifullah again asks excitedly for a clarification of Sheikh_34's source(s), the latter replies: "akhi [my brother] I will change the subject of this post, because it is just rumours. Allah knows best and the most merciful may forgive me for spreading all the talking I heard. all we know is: high ranking al qaida mujahed [singular of "mujahideen"] was martyr´d in south waziristan inshallah." The closing illustrates the belief of all Muslims that nothing happens without God's permission, even death and "martyrdom."

Saifullah again appears nearly apoplectic: "ok brother, but when u have any source please share because I can't see any link not even to kuffar news!!," and Sheikh_34 responds by posting a link to a CBS News online story.

User "abufarooq" suggests that the entire thread be removed in order to stop continued speculation and controversy, the sowing of "a little dysentery among the ranks," as Christopher Moltisanti one remarked in an episode of HBO's classic series The Sopranos: "i suggest we remove this thread as it is mere speculation. We are all Al-libi, we are all Osama, we are all Zawahri (rahemullah) The idiots dont understand Islam, they think it is like some sort of kaffir [unbeliever] rebellion based on a charismatic leader who when removed it all falls apart. I got news for you retarded kuffar [plural of "kafir"], research the word fesabilillah." He seemingly endorses the argument for a "leaderless jihad," though the commotion caused by this rumor seems to undercut his assertion.

Reiterating the statement that the continued life or death of Abu Yahya is equally good news, user "Al Kahf" writes: " If he is dead, it is good news. If he is alive, it is good news. Walhamdulillaah [and praise be to God]."

Another user, "abulrahman al muhajir," reiterates the previous call to shutter the thread: "my advise is to stop this thread from progressing as it could do damage on the moral of the lovers of the mujahideen...there is no benefit in speaking about something which the kuffar are spreading until we hear something concrete from our mujahideen."

Moderator Asadullah Alshishani replies in the affirmative: " And I am locking this thread for now until we get a statement."


__________________________

The above discussion, however brief, provides an interesting glimpse into the mindsets of cyber jihadis and particularly the importance, however much some of them may deny it, that charismatic leaders play in the radicalization process. In short, the general Weberian concept of the charismatic religious leader seemingly still applies to these groups. Leaders and ideologues such as Abu Yahya and Anwar al-'Awlaqi (Awlaki), the spiritual "mentor" of the Fort Hood shooter, continue to play an important role in fostering and cultivating radicalism in their followers, whether or not they ever meet them face-to-face. In spending so much energy denying that such leaders are important, cyber jihadis actually strengthen the argument that they really are.

40 comments:

alle said...

Their passionate exchange suggests that the role of charismatic leaders and ideologues, which has been downplayed or written-off by some analysts, may not be so passé after all.

I'm not sure that's a fair characterization of this argument. Even if leaders may remain important as symbols, the concept of "leaderless war" is more about not having a hierarchical relationship within the fighting movement. None of these forum Jihadis probably had any contact with abu Yahia el-Libi, or could ever hope to receive a direct order from him or his subordinates, but they're still voluntarily part of his movement -- that's not necessarily in opposition to the leaderless jihad idea.

That said, interesting post. If the rumor holds true: poor Jarret Brachman, who was about to publish a book on the guy as the future bin Ladin...

إبن الصقلي said...

alle:

Thanks very much for reading and taking the time to comment and critique. Very fair point. I wasn't nuanced or clear enough, I think. I don't disagree with the argument against rigid hierarchies. I just think charismatic leaders like al-Libi remain very important as motivators. Nonetheless, your critique is a welcome one. Thanks very much again. I really appreciate the feedback.

إبن الصقلي said...

I am also looking forward to Prof. Brachman's book, regardless of whether Abu Yahya bit the dust today or not.

Anonymous said...

The bastard dog is dead. I spit on he and his family and all you apostate Jihadi's who think you represent Islam. You are a blight on our religion and on the Prophet Muhammed's (PBUH) true intent. You bring shame to the Muslim Ummah.

User81 said...

Very insightful analysis and commentary. I piggy-backed off your analysis, providing some of my own commentary at http://al-sahwa.blogspot.com/2009/12/is-al-sahabs-media-darling-dead.html

From my post:
"Perhaps more importantly for us COIN practitioners, the commentary on jihadi posts provided by Views From The Occidental clearly highlights the value of targeting terrorist media outlets and their stars."

Thoughts?
-User81

إبن الصقلي said...

User81:

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, as well as for the link in your own piece. Al-Sahwa is a very interesting blog, and I had added it recently to my Links section.

To answer your question, I think your analysis is spot on. In addition to cutting off their media capabilities, the elimination of such a popular and rising (if not already fully risen) charismatic leader and media star such as Abu Yahya would, I think, have a tremendous negative impact on AQC and its affiliates.

Asad'Allah said...

He does have a nice smile, dont you think. Allah protect him.

Anonymous said...

You stand up for the Palestinians by siding with the Zio-Crusaders, what a great idea.

Asad'Allah said...

"He seemingly endorses the argument for a "leaderless jihad"

I didnt get that at all.

In all your research...what do you know about defensive jihad? Do you know the positions of the four imams in regards to when jihad becomes an obligation on all Muslims? Are you aware of the criteria? In fact, I am interested in debating you. I dont have a degree, or at least something similar to you, but I am confident that I could clearly show you that, according to the Qur'an and Sunnah... that Jihad is an obligation for Muslims right now as we speak.

إبن الصقلي said...

Anonymous:

Your type "sides" with Muslims by murdering them and then justifying their murder, an even "better" idea....

Asad'Allah said...

I wouldnt agree with that either.

That report out of West Point is pure trash.

Most people that are being attacked in Afghanistan for example, are the police and army, who according to the Qur'an and Sunnah, have fallen into the realm of apostasy from Islam. Its very clear.

So the people regarded as Muslims by those outside of the Ummah of Muhammad[SallaAllahu alayhi was salaam] i.e. Kuffar[A word in the Qur'an for all non-Muslims], are in fact mostly people who have taken themselves outside the folds of Islam, through their actions.

If you want to hold a debate, I am ready.

"O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust." 5:51

إبن الصقلي said...

Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 019, Hadith Number 4320.

"It is narrated by Ibn 'Umar that a woman was found killed in one of these battles; so the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the killing of women and children."
____________________

Muwatta of Malik, Book 021, Hadith Number 010.

Section : Prohibition against Killing Women and Children in Military Expeditions.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Abu Bakr as-Siddiq was sending armies to ash-Sham. He went for a walk with Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan who was the commander of one of the battalions. It is claimed that Yazid said to Abu Bakr, "Will you ride or shall I get down?" Abu Bakrsaid, "I will not ride and you will not get down. I intend these steps of mine to be in the way of Allah."

Then Abu Bakr advised Yazid, "You will find a people who claim to have totally given themselves to Allah. Leave them to what they claim to have given themselves. You will find a people who have shaved the middle of their heads, strike what they have shaved with the sword.

"I advise you ten things| Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly."
___________________

Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Hadith Number 4319.

"It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah that a woman was found killed in one of the battles fought by the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He disapproved of the killing of women and children."

Asad'Allah said...

OK, so this is the debate?

This still has nothing to with Jihad and its validity at this point in time. That is what I want to debate.


Sahih Bukhari - Book #52 "Fighting in the Cause of Allah(Jihad)" Hadith #263

Narrated Ibn'Umar[RadiAllahuanhu]: The Prophet[sallAllahu alayhi was salaam] burnt the date-palms of Bani An-Nadir.

Sahih Muslim - Book #19 "The Book of Jihad and Expedition"

Hadith # 4321

It is reported on the authority of Sa'b b. Jaththama[RadiAllahuanhu] that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: "They are from them."

Hadith # 4322

It is narrated by Sa'b b. Jaththama[RadiAllahuanhu] that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: "They are from them."

Hadith # 4323

Sa'b b. Jaththama[RadiAllahuanhu] has narrated that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) asked: What about the children of polytheists killed by the cavalry during the night raid? He said: "They are from them."

Hadith # 4324

It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah[RadiAllahuanhu] that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) ordered the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be burnt and cut. These palms were at Buwaira. Qutaibah and Ibn Rumh[RadiAllahuanhuma] in their versions of the tradition have added: So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed the verse:" Whatever trees you have cut down or left standing on their trunks, it was with the permission of Allah so that He may disgrace the evil-doers" (Surah lix. Ayah 5).

Hadith # 4325

It is narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar[RadiAllahuanhu] that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) caused the date-palms of Banu Nadir to be cut down and burnt. It is in this connection that Hassan (the poet) said: It was easy for the nobles of Quraish to barn Buwaira whose sparks were flying in all directions. In the same connection was revealed the Qur'anic verse:" Whatever trees you have cut down or left standing on their trunks."

Hadith # 4326

'Abdullah b. Umar[RadiAllahuanhu] reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) burnt the date-palms of Banu Nadir.

إبن الصقلي said...

Introduction to Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval & Modern World, and How the Sunni Hadith Canon was Formed

Asad'Allah said...

Thats it? Thought so...

إبن الصقلي said...

You are free to lay out your views.

Asad'Allah said...

Jihad is Fard al 'Ayn for all Muslims right now, in this current siutation. This has ijma of all the classical scholars and it is in totaly line with Qur'aan and Sunnah.

A whole, vast chunk of Islam is labeled as "violent extremism" and "terrorism", etc. "Insurgency" and what have you. But it is just part of our religion. Jihad is part of our religion. And Allah ta Ala commands us in the Qur'aan to defend ourselves. And this is what Al Qaidah is doing, for example.

إبن الصقلي said...

Perhaps you could provide some specific citations so that those readers who would like to check the sources may do so.

Perhaps you could also discuss why AQC's definition of its activities fits under classical definitions of jihad and sanctioned warfare when many Muslims, including scholars, say that it does not.

إبن الصقلي said...

What is your reply to those who argue that the AQC actions do not fall under defensive jihad, but are in fact offensive?

Asad'Allah said...

"Perhaps you could also discuss why AQC's definition of its activities fits under classical definitions of jihad and sanctioned warfare when many Muslims, including scholars, say that it does not."

What scholars? Im sure I could guess, but some citation is also warranted I would say.

"What is your reply to those who argue that the AQC actions do not fall under defensive jihad, but are in fact offensive?"

Never heard this argument. Thats a new one for me. How can there even be offensive Jihad right now, when there is no state. Ill see if I can pull up some video for this subject.

إبن الصقلي said...

There are many, but quick references to some of the more important can be found in these "compilations":

Scholars List from C. Kurzman

and

Scholar's List from J. Cole

One could also add Salman al-Awdah's comments chastising Usama bin Laden from two or so years ago.

إبن الصقلي said...

Additionally, what is your view of Shi'i Muslims and Sunnis who do not agree with your views? What is your view of wala wa'l bara and takfir and how it should or should not be practiced?

Asad'Allah said...

"There are many, but quick references to some of the more important can be found in these "compilations":"

I think I have seen this before. A bunch of palace mouthpieces and those who adhere to the duliting and polluting of Islam. Those of the school of compromise. Yes, lets have peace with the people who bomb our children...

Insanity.

Same goes for Salman al Awdah. No one listens to him, irrelevant. Go ask the youth how they feel about him. He is a mouthpiece as well.

And from the list, lets not get started on Tantawi...

Asad'Allah said...

"Additionally, what is your view of Shi'i Muslims and Sunnis who do not agree with your views? What is your view of wala wa'l bara and takfir and how it should or should not be practiced?"

Whatever the Qur'aan and Sunnah says, and what the classical scholars and Ulama of Jihad say.

That is my view.

One scholar I take from is shaykh Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi [Hafidhahullah]. He doesnt make takfir of the whole of the Shi'a community. And backs up that understanding. And I adhere to that.

But what about takfir? I believe in the impediments of takfir. Chain takfir is a dangerous and heretical concept. Takfir also has a place in Islam. Since the beginning. Its not an alien concept. At All.

إبن الصقلي said...

How do you determine who is one of the 'ulama al-balat? What of 'ulama who are not "state 'ulama" such as the official "grand muftis" but who still do not actively support you, such as those who signed the refutation of terrorism from Darul Uloum?

إبن الصقلي said...

Isn't there disagreement over how to approach the Shi'a among some of the 'ulama al-jihad, such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and commanders such as the late Abu Mus'ab? How do you rectify these differences?

What is your definition of a "civilian"? Do you think that civilians can be killed during a war? If so, under what circumstances?

Anonymous said...

"How do you determine who is one of the 'ulama al-balat? What of 'ulama who are not "state 'ulama" such as the official "grand muftis" but who still do not actively support you, such as those who signed the refutation of terrorism from Darul Uloum?"

To be honest with you, in all my reading and studying, I have never come across the term "Ulama al Balat". What does that mean?

And the refutation of terrorism... its all word games. What is seen as terrorism by some is seen quite differently to others. I see the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan, and the firebombings there as terrorism. Do you?

Asad'Allah said...

FYI, that last comment was mine..just pressed submit without putting my name.

"Isn't there disagreement over how to approach the Shi'a among some of the 'ulama al-jihad, such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and commanders such as the late Abu Mus'ab? How do you rectify these differences?"

From my understanding Abu Musab az Zarqawi [Rahimullah] is considered a scholar.WAllahu alam.

"What is your definition of a "civilian"? Do you think that civilians can be killed during a war? If so, under what circumstances?"

There is not such thing as a civilian in the Shari'ah.

إبن الصقلي said...

I was just using one of the terms that I've run across, and which is one of the phrases you could use to describe "state 'ulama"..."scholars of the court" (along with " 'ulama al-qasr," "scholars of the palace"). I could have just stuck with "state 'ulama".

The definition of "terrorism" used here has been stated here a number of times: "the intentional targeting of, or wanton disregard for the safety of, non-combatants in the furthering of a social and/or political goal.

إبن الصقلي said...

But there is a differentiation between a combatant and a non-combatant.

Asad'Allah said...

"From my understanding Abu Musab az Zarqawi [Rahimullah] is considered a scholar.WAllahu alam."

I meant to say ISNT. I just need to clear that up.

"the intentional targeting of, or wanton disregard for the safety of, non-combatants in the furthering of a social and/or political goal."

So in what cases are there non-combatants targeted on purpose? The mujahideen dont set out to do this. From my limited understanding of the Shari'ah, people who help prop up a Harbi state, at war with Muslims, with taxes, moral support, economic support, on and on, left the realm of Non-Combatant a long time ago.

"But there is a differentiation between a combatant and a non-combatant."

Of course there is. Question is, are the people coming under attack considered "Non-Combantants" in terms of the Shari'ah. From my understanding, no. And Im speaking on the attacks on New York and Washington specifically.

If it was just wanton, and blatant violence...why were the planes not just crashed into any building? Why was the Pentagon, of all places hit...and the WTC? And the Capitol buidlings were a target too. I wonder why? Anyone with sight and a clear understanding can see that the finacial, military and goverment centers were coming under attack.

Perfectly legit targets if you look at it from a total war doctrine. The West and in particular, the United States, has been exercising this form of warfare upon the nations of the world for well over a hundred years. In fact, Al Qaidah is more restricted in its targets then the US military.

I could go on and on.

إبن الصقلي said...

What of the civilians killed in bombings claimed by, for example, al-Zarqawi's organization in Iraq? Weren't they civilians/non-combatants?

Did the Prophet Muhammad target all residents of Mecca during the conflict between the Quraysh and the first Muslims?

Asad'Allah said...

I think we have moved away from what I was trying to debate. That is, that Jihad is obligatory for every Muslim male, as we speak, according to the Qur'aan and Sunnah and ijma of the scholars of the Salaf us Saleeh.

If you truly know Islam, you cant deny it. Muslims who go to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example...are just adhereing to Islam.

I want you to prove that wrong.

إبن الصقلي said...

If we are going to have a discussion, one person cannot determine alone the subjects.

Why do most Salafi scholars reject the ideology of the jihadi Salafis? Are they all 'ulama al-balat?

Asad'Allah said...

Im not talking about Salafi scholars. Im talking about the scholars of the Salaf us Saleeh.

Most "Salafi" scholars are bunch of Murji's and Madkhalis. That is why they reject.

إبن الصقلي said...

Other than Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who do you consider the 'ulama min al-salaf al-salih? 'Uyayri? 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman? 'Azzam? Abu Qatada?

What is their relationship (the 'ulama min al-salaf al-salih) with those commanders who may not be considered 'ulama per se, such as Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi and al-Zawahiri?

What is the status of people such as Abu Yahya al-Libi and Abu Mus'ab al-Suri?

What of Salafi scholars such as the muhaddith al-Albani?

What do you make of Abu Basir ak-Tartusi's fatwa against kamikaze/suicide attacks?

Asad'Allah said...

Salaf us Saleeh = "The Pious Predeccesors"

Im talking about scholars hundreds of years ago.

I dont know the details of their relationships. All I know is that Zarqawi[Rahimullah] took from Maqdisi[Hafidhahullah]. WAllahu alam.

And what is the status of those noble brothers? Al Libi[Hafidhahullah] is Mufti in Al Qaidah.WAllahu alam. I dont know about Suri. Faka Allah Asra..

Al Albani, Rahimullah...

Im not familiar with that fatwa.

إبن الصقلي said...

Yes, I know who the al-Salaf al-Salih were. Modern day Salafis consider themselves to be a continuation of that line.

The classical and medieval rulings on war are not really as simple as you seem to think. With regard to "defensive" war, a lot of the warfare was still "offensive" or exansionist as the great caliphates and other Muslim states were still powerful and on equal or even greater footing with their rivals such as the Byzantines.

Abu Muhammad chastised Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi for excessive violence in Iraq, as did even al-Zawahiri.

Al-Suri was against the takfiri element of al-Qa'ida, something he discusses in his Da'wa al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya al-'Alamiyya.

Abu Basir al-Tartusi's Fatwa on "Martyrdom" vs. "Suicide"

Asad'Allah said...

I pray that Allah makes you Muslim. Ameen

ldii said...

I feel so sad that many Muslims must fight in wars to upright Allah's religion. We, in Indonesia feel thank that we can perform religious obligation in peace and freedom. We pray that Allah always protects and saves all Muslims brothers and sisters all around the world. Ameen