Nurturing the notion of Jihad – a very short introduction
As early as 2003 the Mujahidin of the Arabian Peninsula, also known as the Organization of al-Qa’ida on the Arabian Peninsula, began to spread their concept of belief and concern of their perception of the notion of Jihad by using the Internet. The first al-Qa’ida online magazine Sawt of Jihad (SAG) grew globally – in PDF or WORD format. The magazine is divided in different sections and categories – providing justifications for the actions of the Mujahidin as well as a general call for Jihad, asking the “youth of Islam” to join while insisting in the same time to attack western targets and inviduals within the Arabian Peninsula.
Sawt of Jihad (the Voice of Jihad) managed to publish 29 editions, nearly 1300 pages in total and is also a pioneer to use the internet to publish ideos, audios and more. It served as a information source for all those interested and for those interested in participating in Jihad and defines a clear legal background to do so. Divided in many different sections, the Mudschahidin frequently gave statements about their operations, such as the attack on the U.S. Consulate, these “after action reports” still exist on the internet, one of the last reports was released on 27.2.2006 after the Jihadis attacked an oil-site in the Saudi city Baqiq (Abqaiq).
The main theme throughout all the 29 issues (no.30 went online on 8.2.07) different authors command the removal of all infidel elements from the “land of the muslims”. This is a rhetoric which has spread since – throughout the internet which provides the global context. The year 2003 was not only startingpoint for most jihad activites in Saudi Arabia but it was the start of the Iraq war.
This call, to expell all infidel elements, has become a key element in the jihadi literature and ideology. SAG has empowered the legacy (wasiya) of the prophet, who, while on his deathbed, issued the order for all believers to “expell the mushrikin from the Arabian Peninsula.”
A Mushrik is a person whose belief to the one and only god is distracted – by what means ever, may that be by statues, pictures or saints. So the notion of “expelling the mushrikin” became the guideline to combat everything that had been and is defined as un-“islamic”. One of the most prominent figures who fought for the objective to “liberate the land of the two holy sites (Saudi Arabia)” was Abdal Aziz al-Muqrin. He was not only the leader of the al-Qa’ida on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) but also frequently commented and wrote articles for the SAG. After abducting and beheading the american Paul Johnson in 2004, saudi authorities began hunting him down and started their campaign against AQAP. Although al-Muqrin was killed in a shoutout.
SAG served – again – as the communication device for the jihadis: not only had the execution of Johnson been filmed and posted on the internet, prior to the execution demands were issued and justifications were spread. After the death of al-Muqrin SAG immediately responded by making a statement about the “death of our brother al-Muqrin and his brothers”.
Not only the cited hadith of the Prophet, to “expell the mushrikin” is used to serve the purpose of the mujahidin but also the connection to the third Caliph Umar, who defined this statement, this testament, as an order to remove anyone who is not a muslim from the arab land. This notion regained popularity with the stationing of US troops prior to the second Gulf war 1991.
Specific analytical reports are forthcoming on chosen articles of SAG