Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My New Article at Foreign Policy's AFPAK Channel: "Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's Hybrid Insurgency"

I have a new article, "The Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan's Hybrid Insurgency: Analyzing Hakimullah Mehsud's Eid al-Adha Message," that was published this afternoon at the AFPAK Channel, a joint project of Foreign Policy magazine and The New America Foundation. I argue that the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan represents a type of glocal insurgency that utilizes transnational rhetoric and themes in the service of essentially local (in this case country and region-specific goals).

The introduction reads:

On November 8, a written message from Hakimullah Mehsud, the TTP's amir, was released on jihadi Internet forums on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the Islamic holiday that ends the annual Hajj pilgrimage season. The message was released simultaneously in Urdu, Pashtu, Arabic, and English on Internet forums used by transnational Sunni jihadis and their supporters. It was distributed by the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a shadowy network of translators and media operatives who produce numerous translations of key jihadi texts, videos, and songs, as well as original material. Earlier this year new videos and written statements from the TTP were being distributed by a branch of the GIMF, Al-Qadisiyyah Media Foundation, which is devoted to translating jihadi texts, primarily from Arabic, into languages of the Indian Subcontinent including Urdu, Bangla, Pashtu, Hindi, and Persian. The shift to GIMF distribution earlier this year suggests that the TTP continues to draw upon the transnational Sunni jihadi rhetoric deployed by groups like al-Qaeda Central (AQC) and its regional affiliates while continuing to maintain a strong focus on waging a domestic insurgency in Pakistan. The result is a type of "glocal" militancy that combines both elements of transnational jihadism with the TTP's more country- and region-specific goals."

Read the rest of the article at the AFPAK Channel.

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