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Road Warriors

Road Warriors

Metadata

  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Full Title: Road Warriors
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • foreign fighters are products of an age of globalization. (Location 365)
  • A successful counterterrorism strategy would aim to disrupt foreign fighters at each stage in a foreign fighter’s “life cycle.” The life cycle begins with potential volunteers becoming radicalized and then deciding to go abroad to fight. (Location 451)
  • If the fighters survive the war zone, governments must turn them away from violence and jihad upon return. The most dangerous fighters—those who appear at high risk to conduct terrorism or commit a crime—must be jailed, which requires passing legislation to enable security services to arrest dangerous returnees and providing sufficient resources for these services. However, sending even minor players to jail, particularly if only for a few years, risks exposing them to hardened jihadists in prison and enables them to integrate into broader networks. (Location 474)
  • Moreover, for some foreigners jihad was a vacation. They came only for a few days and simply wanted to brag about their bravery back home rather than truly fight; these volunteers were derided as “Gucci jihadis.” (Location 662)
  • Zawahiri would note that “a Jihadi movement needs an arena that would act like an incubator where its seeds would grow and where it can acquire practical experience in combat, politics, and organizational matters.” (Location 676)
  • Azzam’s ideas spread everywhere, even to the United States. Songwriter Cat Stevens, a convert to Islam, praised jihad and martyrdom in the anti-Soviet struggle in an interview with a jihadist magazine. Azzam repeatedly traveled to America in the 1980s to raise money and established centers in New York; Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan; Los Angeles; Tucson; and San Francisco—fifty-two centers in all. His recruitment center in New York had U.S. government permission to raise money to pay for foreign fighter transit because the United States sought to encourage anti-Soviet sentiment. His magazine Al Jihad had many readers in the United States, constituting perhaps half of its total readership. (Location 704)
  • Mustafa Hamid, a longtime jihadist, argues that this emphasis on “action without attention to consequences” is still strong in the jihadist world.79 (Location 853)
  • In August 1993, the foreign fighters founded the “El Mudzahid” unit under Barbaros’s leadership. El Mudzahid was created after Bosnian army and public complaints about the foreigners’ brutality and lack of discipline as well as the foreigners’ view that they could not rely on local Bosnians to stand and fight when the time came.58 The unit was technically integrated into, supplied by, and under the command of the Bosnian military. Although the training did not match what Al Qaeda would later achieve in Afghanistan, El Mudzahid required volunteers to take a six-week religious course and then a six-week military course.59 (Location 1155)
  • As one Bosnian Muslim put it, the foreigners “come here full of ideals about dying in battle and going to paradise. Bosnians are not so stupid. We want to live for Islam, not die for Islam.” (Location 1235)
  • Abu Mohamed al-Amriki (“the American”), (Location 1331)
  • the transformation callow youths undergo when they travel to fight. (Location 1382)
  • of attacks on U.S. targets. Bin Laden hoped to bring the war home to the United States and convince American leaders to withdraw from the Middle East, believing that a few big hits would eventually lead America to withdraw its forces.33 The situations in Beirut in 1983, when Hezbollah’s bombings of the U.S. embassy and Marine barracks led America to beat a hasty retreat from Lebanon, and in Mogadishu in 1993, when the downing of a U.S. helicopter and deaths of eighteen Army Rangers led to a similar withdrawal from Somalia, convinced Bin Laden the United States was a paper tiger, reliant on technology but vulnerable to hardened guerrillas who would fight with “faith and conviction.”34 Even if the United States intervened more instead of withdrawing, this too would be a win; the U.S. intervention would inspire Muslims to rise up, swelling the ranks of the jihadists and eventually leading the United States to leave, as the Soviets had done in Afghanistan. Attacks on the two U.S embassies in 1998, the USS Cole in 2000, and 9/11 followed this general strategy.35 (Location 1475)
  • magazine published by a fighter with the amusing nom de guerre of Abu Musab al-Reuters. (Location 1489)
  • Part of the reason for Al Qaeda’s success was that it recognized the power of bureaucracy. It had committees for media, military operations, security, and fundraising, enabling it to specialize. Al Qaeda required its recruits to train and otherwise closely monitored personnel. Members were paid—not well, but enough to get by, and more if they had a family.76 The group even had generous vacation leave, with one week off for every three weeks on for married recruits.77 (Location 1623)
  • To guard against theft and abuses, Al Qaeda in Iraq created intricate personnel records complete with spreadsheets and expense report forms, which included names, pseudonyms, family information, salary, and other personal information.38 It also listed the “work” the individual would do, such as whether he would be a fighter or a suicide bomber. When a local group received money from the core organization, it had to give a receipt for the money and provide an accounting for how the money was spent. At times it had to have the signatures notarized. As terrorism scholar Jacob Shapiro points out, “This is a sensible requirement for most organizations, but not one that is ostensibly covert.”39 When these documents ended up in the hands of U.S. forces, they proved a counterterrorism gold mine. (Location 3091)
  • For the Shebaab, many attacks often labeled “terrorism” are part of military campaigns against its various enemies. The Shebaab attacked government officials, launched bombings, and otherwise tried to intimidate its enemies, but it did not engage in global terrorism. The vast majority of the Shebaab’s attacks are in Somalia, where it has hit military facilities, government buildings, hotels, ports, and Somalia’s national airline. It also struck at United Nations facilities in Somalia and those of the government’s foreign backers, such as countries like Uganda and Kenya. Nevertheless, the presence of many foreigners among the Shebaab’s ranks, including Americans like Hammami, generated fears among Western officials that the foreigners would orchestrate terrorist attacks in their home countries.102 (Location 3672)
  • However, while he was alive, Bin Laden offered the Shebaab guidance but opposed a public merger with the Somali group, fearing that it would be another Al Qaeda in Iraq, bad at governing but skilled at alienating locals.103 (Location 3680)

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title: Road Warriors longtitle: Road Warriors author: Daniel Byman url: , source: kindle last_highlight: 2020-01-12 type: books tags:

Road Warriors

rw-book-cover

Metadata

  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Full Title: Road Warriors
  • Category: #books

Highlights

  • foreign fighters are products of an age of globalization. (Location 365)
  • A successful counterterrorism strategy would aim to disrupt foreign fighters at each stage in a foreign fighter’s “life cycle.” The life cycle begins with potential volunteers becoming radicalized and then deciding to go abroad to fight. (Location 451)
  • If the fighters survive the war zone, governments must turn them away from violence and jihad upon return. The most dangerous fighters—those who appear at high risk to conduct terrorism or commit a crime—must be jailed, which requires passing legislation to enable security services to arrest dangerous returnees and providing sufficient resources for these services. However, sending even minor players to jail, particularly if only for a few years, risks exposing them to hardened jihadists in prison and enables them to integrate into broader networks. (Location 474)
  • Moreover, for some foreigners jihad was a vacation. They came only for a few days and simply wanted to brag about their bravery back home rather than truly fight; these volunteers were derided as “Gucci jihadis.” (Location 662)
  • Zawahiri would note that “a Jihadi movement needs an arena that would act like an incubator where its seeds would grow and where it can acquire practical experience in combat, politics, and organizational matters.” (Location 676)
  • Azzam’s ideas spread everywhere, even to the United States. Songwriter Cat Stevens, a convert to Islam, praised jihad and martyrdom in the anti-Soviet struggle in an interview with a jihadist magazine. Azzam repeatedly traveled to America in the 1980s to raise money and established centers in New York; Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan; Los Angeles; Tucson; and San Francisco—fifty-two centers in all. His recruitment center in New York had U.S. government permission to raise money to pay for foreign fighter transit because the United States sought to encourage anti-Soviet sentiment. His magazine Al Jihad had many readers in the United States, constituting perhaps half of its total readership. (Location 704)
  • Mustafa Hamid, a longtime jihadist, argues that this emphasis on “action without attention to consequences” is still strong in the jihadist world.79 (Location 853)
  • In August 1993, the foreign fighters founded the “El Mudzahid” unit under Barbaros’s leadership. El Mudzahid was created after Bosnian army and public complaints about the foreigners’ brutality and lack of discipline as well as the foreigners’ view that they could not rely on local Bosnians to stand and fight when the time came.58 The unit was technically integrated into, supplied by, and under the command of the Bosnian military. Although the training did not match what Al Qaeda would later achieve in Afghanistan, El Mudzahid required volunteers to take a six-week religious course and then a six-week military course.59 (Location 1155)
  • As one Bosnian Muslim put it, the foreigners “come here full of ideals about dying in battle and going to paradise. Bosnians are not so stupid. We want to live for Islam, not die for Islam.” (Location 1235)
  • Abu Mohamed al-Amriki (“the American”), (Location 1331)
  • the transformation callow youths undergo when they travel to fight. (Location 1382)
  • of attacks on U.S. targets. Bin Laden hoped to bring the war home to the United States and convince American leaders to withdraw from the Middle East, believing that a few big hits would eventually lead America to withdraw its forces.33 The situations in Beirut in 1983, when Hezbollah’s bombings of the U.S. embassy and Marine barracks led America to beat a hasty retreat from Lebanon, and in Mogadishu in 1993, when the downing of a U.S. helicopter and deaths of eighteen Army Rangers led to a similar withdrawal from Somalia, convinced Bin Laden the United States was a paper tiger, reliant on technology but vulnerable to hardened guerrillas who would fight with “faith and conviction.”34 Even if the United States intervened more instead of withdrawing, this too would be a win; the U.S. intervention would inspire Muslims to rise up, swelling the ranks of the jihadists and eventually leading the United States to leave, as the Soviets had done in Afghanistan. Attacks on the two U.S embassies in 1998, the USS Cole in 2000, and 9/11 followed this general strategy.35 (Location 1475)
  • magazine published by a fighter with the amusing nom de guerre of Abu Musab al-Reuters. (Location 1489)
  • Part of the reason for Al Qaeda’s success was that it recognized the power of bureaucracy. It had committees for media, military operations, security, and fundraising, enabling it to specialize. Al Qaeda required its recruits to train and otherwise closely monitored personnel. Members were paid—not well, but enough to get by, and more if they had a family.76 The group even had generous vacation leave, with one week off for every three weeks on for married recruits.77 (Location 1623)
  • To guard against theft and abuses, Al Qaeda in Iraq created intricate personnel records complete with spreadsheets and expense report forms, which included names, pseudonyms, family information, salary, and other personal information.38 It also listed the “work” the individual would do, such as whether he would be a fighter or a suicide bomber. When a local group received money from the core organization, it had to give a receipt for the money and provide an accounting for how the money was spent. At times it had to have the signatures notarized. As terrorism scholar Jacob Shapiro points out, “This is a sensible requirement for most organizations, but not one that is ostensibly covert.”39 When these documents ended up in the hands of U.S. forces, they proved a counterterrorism gold mine. (Location 3091)
  • For the Shebaab, many attacks often labeled “terrorism” are part of military campaigns against its various enemies. The Shebaab attacked government officials, launched bombings, and otherwise tried to intimidate its enemies, but it did not engage in global terrorism. The vast majority of the Shebaab’s attacks are in Somalia, where it has hit military facilities, government buildings, hotels, ports, and Somalia’s national airline. It also struck at United Nations facilities in Somalia and those of the government’s foreign backers, such as countries like Uganda and Kenya. Nevertheless, the presence of many foreigners among the Shebaab’s ranks, including Americans like Hammami, generated fears among Western officials that the foreigners would orchestrate terrorist attacks in their home countries.102 (Location 3672)
  • However, while he was alive, Bin Laden offered the Shebaab guidance but opposed a public merger with the Somali group, fearing that it would be another Al Qaeda in Iraq, bad at governing but skilled at alienating locals.103 (Location 3680)