Lone Wolf Role Model

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Successful international counter-terrorism efforts against terrorist organization like al-Qaeda have inflicted heavy casualties and decimated much of their senior leadership over the last decade (Sageman, 2008, p. 131). These efforts have forced many terrorist organizations to adopt a highly decentralized cellular model in order to survive. Starting in the mid 2000’s, al-Qaeda began to adopt this new concept of unorganized terrorist cells and leaderless jihad (also known as the lone wolf concept) (Spaaij, 2012, p. 26). This concept was further refined and formalized in a 1,604 page book written by Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, a high ranking al-Qaeda operative at the time, titled Call to Global Islamic Resistance which can be found in PDF format on many radical Islamists websites (Zackie, 2013, p. 1). This new strategy endorses smaller scale, less complicated attacks which are well suited for the lone wolf concept (Barnes, 2012, p. 1649).
As a direct result, al-Qaeda made the tactical evolution and began to actively call on Muslims to conduct lone wolf attacks (Barnes, 2012, p. 1649). One al-Qaeda video that was distributed in 2011 had a simple message. It stated, “Do not rely on others, take the task upon yourself” (Spaaij, 2012, p. 26). …show more content…

In Islam, jihad is an established doctrine that is codified in a collection of six hadiths known as the Sunnah (Roshandel & Chada, 2006, p. 42). According to the Sunnah, jihad exists in two forms. Greater jihad is the struggle with one’s inner self, and lesser jihad is the struggle with the enemies of Islam. It is concept of lesser jihad that serves as the foundation and justification of radical Islamic terrorists, in particular radical (Salafi) Sunni groups, who form the core of the Global Jihadist Movement (Roshandel & Chada, 2006, p.

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