Friday, June 17, 2011

My New Article, "The Pakistani Taliban's Media Jihad," at Foreign Policy Magazine's AFPAK Channel

My latest article, "The Pakistani Taliban's Media Jihad: The Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's Jihadi Propaganda," was published at Foreign Policy magazine's AFPAK Channel on Friday. The introductory paragraph reads:

"One month after acknowledging that al-Qaeda Central's (AQC) founder and leader Osama bin Laden had been killed by the U.S. military, the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) this week issued a written statement eulogizing him and threatening revenge attacks on the U.S. and Pakistani governments (they also expressed their support this morning for al-Qaeda's new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri). The TTP, an umbrella movement for dozens of militant outfits operating in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber-Puktunkhwa province has already carried out a number of deadly attacks throughout the country since mid-May, including the brazen May 23 attack on the Pakistani Navy's Mehran base in Karachi. With estimated numbers of its fighters in the thousands, the TTP and other Pakistani militant groups based in the Punjab are arguably among the best-placed of AQC's allies to launch "revenge attacks" in bin Laden's name. The statement's distribution online via the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a long-established transnational jihadi media and translation network, is significant, suggesting that the TTP continues to embrace elements of both transnational militancy and domestic insurgency."

The piece examines the TTP's media productions and the movement's shift toward having its media distributed to jihadi-takfiri Internet forums via the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a long-established jihadi-takfiri media and translation network. I argue that this shift toward GIMF distribution is further evidence of the TTP's transnational inclinations, which stand in marked contrast with the essentially parochial Afghan Taliban(s).

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