Tag Archives: jihad

Stratfor: Paris Attack Underscores a Deeper Malaise

Geopolitical Diary
Courtesy, Stratfor Global Intelligence

THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2015 – 02:33 GMT
 
 
Wednesday’s deadly attack against a French satirical publication has the potential to upset relations between European states and their Muslim citizenries. The strategic intent behind such attacks is precisely to sow this kind of crisis, as well as to influence French policy and recruit more jihadists. Even though Islamist extremism is, at its core, an intra-Muslim conflict, such incidents will draw in non-Muslims, exacerbating matters.

Three suspected Islamist militants attacked the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with high-powered assault rifles, killing 12 people. Among the dead are the editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier, who was on a hit list appearing in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine for “insulting the Prophet Mohammed.” Eyewitness said they heard the attackers shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed,” and chanting, “God is Great” in Arabic. This is the third such attack in a Western country in less than three months. The Paris incident involves perpetrators who displayed sophisticated small arms and small unit training.

Whether or not these attacks are the handiwork of self-motivated grassroots jihadists and cells or of individuals tied to international jihadist entities, such incidents aggravate tense relations between the Western and Muslim worlds. This is all the more significant in Europe, where states are experiencing the rise of right-wing nationalism and Muslim communities have long experienced disaffection. The jihadist objective is to get the states to crack down harder on Muslim communities in order to further their narrative that the West is waging war on Islam and Muslims.

While Western states go to great lengths to demonstrate that no such clash of civilizations is occurring, right-wing forces engage in rhetoric that reinforces these fears among many common Muslims across the world. More important, there is a longstanding conflict of values — particularly freedom of expression, which is cherished in the West but seen by many Muslims as a license for sacrilege. Though the vast majority of Muslims will not engage in violence in response to speech deemed as blasphemous, there are many who will. In Pakistan, the blasphemy law has been a subject of huge controversy. Many Pakistani citizens have been murdered by their fellow countrymen for speech or behavior deemed objectionable. At the root of this problem is the extreme discomfort many Muslims have with free expression, although this attitude is not universal. The person of the Prophet Mohammed is all the more sensitive because the traditional view is that he cannot be depicted pictorially, let alone in a satirical manner.

Ultimately, this is an intra-Muslim struggle for power and control wrapped in a debate over what it means to be a Muslim in today’s world and what the boundaries of justifiable action are. Defining those factors is one tool that can be used to gain power; attacks against the West and its interests, meant to force Westerners to pull out of Muslim lands or to attack Muslims and enforce the jihadist narrative, are another. This issue undermines efforts by moderate and progressive Muslims to advance the notion of freedoms based on an Islamic ethos.

The ongoing intra-Muslim debate gives extremists ample ideological and, by extension, geopolitical space to exploit. The jihadist enterprise deliberately targets non-Muslims, in particular the West, in part as a means to gain ground within the Muslim milieu. This strategy also sucks the Western world into what is essentially a Muslim civil war in order to tackle the security threats posed by Islamist militant actors.

However, Western involvement in this internal debate will not help defeat extremism or ease relations between Muslims and the West. The end of jihadism will come only when Muslims defeat their own deviants on the ideological battleground.
 
 
Paris Attack Underscores a Deeper Malaise is republished with permission of Stratfor.
 
 
 

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Flashback: Suez Blocked!

Originally published: February 8, 2006
Reproduced courtesy of VizReport.

 

Suez Canal Blocked by 
Cargo Ship
 
Red Isolated from Med 

February 8, 2006 (Photo: Hegemann-Gruppe

cargovesselUpdate: (February 9, 2006) The ship has been dislodged and traffic is now moving along this critical waterway. 

(VizReport) In line with our projections that the Suez Canal would soon be blocked as part of the current phase of disruption in the Middle East, we have received news that a Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel is now lodged sideways in the canal, blocking traffic in both directions. 

The 93,000 ton Okal King Dor, traveling north during a minor sandstorm and gusting winds, became jammed crosswise in the narrow strait about 10 kilometres south of the Egyptian city of Ismailiya, which means, perhaps significantly[?], “city of Ishmael”

Four tugs were sent to the location in a bid to realign the ship. 

The canal accommodates 8 percent of all world shipping trade, the majority of oil shipments from the Persian Gulf to Europe, and is a major source of Egyptian revenue, providing passage to almost 50 ships per day and generating annual revenues of more than $3 billion. 

This ‘accident’ effectively cut off the Red Sea from all southbound traffic, including naval vessels scheduled to be routed to the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean from current locations in the Mediterranean Sea. 

The original target vessel for this suspected insurgent action was the decommissioned French aircraft carrier, the Clemenceau, but its transit was halted in the Mediterranean Sea via a legal challenge by the Greenpeace environmental organisation. The carrier was destined for the Indian ship-breaking yards at Aulang, but Greenpeace petitioned the Egyptian government to bar the passage of the giant vessel under concern that all toxic materials have not been removed from it. 

The second major Red Sea incident in a week, the grounding of the Okal King Dor follows the terrible tragedy of the Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98 which sank (with the loss of approximately 1,000 lives) in the northern Red Sea after a fire broke out in its lower automotive deck. That incident has triggered protests against the government of Hosni Mubarak which was already under pressure by groups aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood organisation, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, fronted by Al-Qaeda number 2 man, Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

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Iran’s Revolutionary Plan

The following March 1, 2006, excerpt from VizReport is unaltered. Though the forecast window elapsed without major incident, the subject matter and strategies contained therein remain highly relevant. It should be noted that the VizReport site was expertly hacked and its contents replaced by an image bearing a familiar Islamic religious pronouncement, on or about March 21st of that year.

(Note: Some hyperlinks in the attached text may have expired. Some have been updated to link to copies of original VizReport articles that have recently been re-published here.)


vizreport

 

March 1, 2006

Normally, this panel would feature an index of all the latest stories published on the site, but for the next three weeks (March 1-21, 2006), this is how our main page will appear. The site will return to its regular display format after the Spring Equinox. 


To locate any Viz, Jereboa, PointDexter or Millard Fillmore stories, access the index links to their materials at the left-hand side of your screen. 

Why the change?

Update: March 07, 2006
Some search engines have de-referenced all or some of this site, but I am glad to report that Google and MSN are no longer among them. The Google and MSN indices of this domain have been largely reinstated. Cool. Anyway, back to the issue at hand: the analytical determination that Iran may be on the verge of a major move against the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) states. 

So, here goes… 

(20060301)

Iran will, in all likelihood, nuke its “problematicAhwazi Arab constituency with a “Shahab V” missile at Abaddon and blame it on Israel and/or the West. 

(Note: It was an attack on Abaddon [alt. spelling: Abadan] by Iraq in September 1980 that started the Iran-Iraq War, during which the city was mostly destroyed. It was also at the centre of the British-American ouster, in 1953, of Iran’s then-president, Mohammed Mossadegh, which led to the installation of the Shah, Reza Pahlavi. Then, in August 1978, on the 25th anniversary of the Mossadegh coup, a terrible fire broke out in the city’s Rex Cinema where as many as 470 people may have died; though one report mentioned 444 deaths. [Does that number sound familiar, or is it just me?] The doors were intentionally barred and the building torched. The fire was reportedly set [according to the testimony of many eyewitnesses] by the same Islamic fundamentalists who immediately blamed the Shah [the king] for the crime, provoking widespread demonstrations that…you guessed it…led to the overthrow of the Shah by the theocratic Hojjatieh sect of Shia Islam that still rules Iran to this day. The leader of the sect, Ayatollah Khomeini, had attempted to ban the showing of films in Iran from his base in Paris. Three different cinemas were burned down around the same time, but only the Rex [“King” in Latin] suffered considerable casualties. Khomeini himself actually watched at least two Hollywood films in his life, The Messenger [a movie about the life of Mohammed starring Anthony Quinn] and Omar Mokhtar, both directed by Arabic director Mostafa Akkad. Ironically, Akkad was killed by Al Qaeda suicide attackers while attending a wedding in Amman, Jordan, a few months ago.)  

Following the next self-inflicted hit on Abaddon, IRGC-directed “Bassij” paramilitary irregulars from the Ansar ol-Mahdi (Army of the Messiah), along with a number of suicide brigades from the “Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison”, will carry out assaults throughout the northern and western Gulf region, including at Basra, Kuwait, Riyadh and certain of the emirates, after having flown waves of helicopters through the radioactive debris field along the Shatt al-Arab waterway as Western, Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Saudi forces retreat from the fallout. 

The Red Sea will be jammed at the north by an obstruction in the Suez Canal, as tested on February 8th. Even passenger vessels will be at risk; reference the February 3rd sinking of the Salaam Boccaccio 98 in the northern Red Sea. The straits at Bab el’Mandeb in the south will be blockaded by fast rocket/missile boats similar to those that took out the two American Sea Dragons in that area on February 17th

This “strike.self–blame.others” strategy has been working effectively for Iran’s cultish leaders for many years — and it still works like a charm, as was recently demonstrated by its February 22nd destruction of the Golden Dome mosque of Al-Askariya in Samarra, Iraq, as well as several of the recent bombings in Iran’s Khuzestan province, particularly near the key cities of Ahwaz and Abaddon

The aim is to confuse Western strategists long enough to isolate Mecca (the penultimate objective), while breaking Western fleets into four controllable zones: the Red, the Med, the Indian, and the Persian Gulf. This scenario will probably also include a significant attack on Jiddah by Libyan, Eritrean and Sudanese irregular forces after a rush across the double-plugged Red Sea, as well as a sweeping drive northward into the Mecca region by Yemeni AQ. 

The plan is designed to closely correspond with the Christian scripture of Revelation, Chapter 9, verses 9:1 to 9:11. This is completely intentional. The star that falls from heaven is called “shahab” in Farsi. Angel and star are used interchangeably in the verse. The prophecy speaks of the “fifth angel” — Shahab V in Persian. Although the Shahab IV is the latest known missile in Iran’s arsenal, and is still under development, the Shahab V is their pocket ace; possibly a Russian KH-55 cruise missile, referred to in its Iranian incarnation by Janes Defence Weekly as the X-55. The bottomless pit is nuclear power. It is prophesied to be unleashed where the star falls. And its name is forecast to be Abaddon. 

Window: Some time in the next three weeks. 

Today’s date: March 01, 2006. 

The preamble to this story has been edited at various times, but the portion of the page following the datestamp (20060301) has been left untouched. A copy of the original file has been date-locked for later validation. 

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