Again, the obsession with geography when anyone with a pair of eyes can see it is ideology, not borders or nationality. The news reporting on the most serious mortal threat would be comical if it weren't so deceiving and wrong.
As the news of the global jihad increases and whole countries fall to Islamic supremacists, note the relentless use of the nonsensical term "islamist." Islamist, indeed. What does it mean to say that someone or something is "Islamist" as opposed to "Islamic"? Nothing, really, except that the person speaking doesn't want to offend Islam by speaking unwelcome truths about the political nature of the religion. Spencer wrote on that here: Islam and Islamists
The term "Islamist" is in common use to refer to Muslim individuals and organizations that adhere to Islamic law's political aspects (most notably its denial of any legitimacy of a separation between religion and the state) and consequently most fiercely oppose America, Israel and the West in general. The implication is that Islam itself, in its authentic form, has no requisite political aspect, and no incompatibility with Western values or democratic government.
The problem with this is that it is a Western, artificial distinction, imposed by non-Muslims upon the Islamic world and lacking any real substance with reference to Islamic law as it has always been formulated by the Sunni and Shi'ite madhahib (schools of jurisprudence). Islam has always been political, and the union of religion and the state has always been essential to its political program; the idea that all this can and should be separated from Islam proper is the wishful thinking of Western analysts who do not wish to face the implications of the fact that these ideas represent mainstream Islamic thinking.
In line with this, I recently received this email from a Jihad Watch reader in Canada:
A conversation with several friends on Facebook erupted into something quite extraordinary. An 18 year old Muslim student, from Western University and born in Mississauga had this to say about the distinction between Islam and Islamism:
"case and point on why you dont understand Islam. No one makes this distinction [between Islam and Islamism] other then the Western world, for the sake of having a tidy little system to classify everything. Our religion and political ideology are one. Furthermore, I really wouldnt use the term islamist or Islamism. Many muslims, including myself, find the term deeply offensive."
In other words, IN CANADA, there is an entire generation of Muslims who openly subscribe to 'Islamism' as indistinguishable from Islam.
And that should come as no surprise. Except to willfully blind non-Muslim analysts in the West.
Video reports of al-Shabaab battles with Somali forces feature jihadist with London accent
A militant Islamist group in Somalia that has declared its allegiance to al-Qa'ida is using a young British man to file video propaganda from the front lines of the country's civil war to try to draw English-speaking Muslims to the Horn of Africa for jihad, The Independent can reveal.
The man, who remains masked throughout his videos, speaks in fluent English with a clear London accent and presents breathless reports of battles that the militant groups have fought against Somali government and foreign forces.
Intelligence sources and terrorism experts believe the man was either born in Britain or spent considerable time here and that he may have even had some media training before heading abroad to join the militant network.
The Independent has collected at least three videos in which the man features. The first – which runs for 11 minutes and is titled "African Crusaders" – was released in June 2010 and only contains the man's voice. A second 21 minute long video – "Mogadishu – the Crusader's Graveyard" – was released a month later and shows the young reporter appearing with his face covered in front of burning tank that he claims was destroyed by Islamist fighters.
He disappeared from Al Shabaab propaganda videos until October this year when he returned with a new documentary called "Battle for Deyniile – the Burundian Bloodbath". The 33-minute report features footage from the front lines of a recent battle between militants and African Union peacekeepers on the outskirts of Mogadishu in which a number of AU troops were known to have perished. Shabaab fighters display the uniformed corpses of at least twenty fighters that they claimed belonged to the Ugandan and Burundian peacekeeping forces currently in control of central Mogadishu.
The documentaries – which were all released through Shabaab's media wing the al-Kataib Foundation – are a vivid example of the slick propaganda now being produced by violent Islamists in the Horn of Africa and their determination to turn the area into a new base for international jihadists.
Britain has become so concerned about the deteriorating security situation inside Somalia that it has convened a summit for February to discuss what to do about the failed state. MI5 head Jonathan Evans has repeatedly warned that the Horn of Africa has become the second most popular terrorist training ground after Pakistan with Brits of Somali, Pakistani, Yemeni, Bangladeshi and North African heritage flocking there.
Whitehall sources believe that there are between three to four people working full time on Shabaab's media wing, one of whom is a Yemeni who previously worked with al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula. A second individual is a British Pakistani – thought to be the reporter who appears in the videos.
The group's latest output represents a tactical shift in the way militant networks are producing their propaganda in that the more recent productions are presented as objective news reports, mimicking the way mainstream news organisations present information.
"Instead of featuring a field commander what we're seeing is supposedly a journalist reporting the facts on the ground in a dispassionate way whilst manipulating the narrative to his group's advantage," said Bruce Hoffman, a leading expert on Islamist terrorism at the University of Georgetown. "You wouldn't put Shabaab in the top bracket within the pantheon of terror groups when it comes to strategies or tactics. But their communication techniques are highly sophisticated."
The Independent sought comment from al-Shabaab through an email account known to be used by the militants for international enquiries. In a statement the group said their aim was to inspire Muslims in the West: "We are not able to reveal the identity or nom de guerre of the person in question but the aim of our English documentaries is quite simple. With most journalists serving merely as subservient vessels at the hands of warmongers and politicians, the purpose of the Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen's documentary films is to reveal the reality of the current warfare in Somalia to the world and, in particular, to the Muslims living in the Western world."
The statement added: "It is our hope that these English documentaries will enlighten the Muslims by illuminating the reality of the so-called war on terror and help further elucidate the events as they really are on the ground –not as they are erroneously portrayed in the western media."
Shabaab are a brutal off-shoot of the comparatively moderate Islamic Courts Union which brought a semblance of calm to Somalia after 20 years of fighting but was thrown out of in 2006 following a US-backed invasion by Ethiopian troops.
The militant group controls large tracts of southern Somalia and has fought a vicious insurgency against the country's beleaguered and highly unpopular transitional government whose writ extends little further than the capital Mogadishu. They promote a draconian interpretation of Sharia law and have pledged allegiance to al-Qa'ida and its philosophy of waging violent jihad to establish a global Islamic caliphate.
After withdrawing their fighters from the capital in August, they have shifted to more asymmetric tactics such as suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices. A spate of kidnappings hit northern Kenya prompting Nairobi to invade from the south claiming that they would eradicate Shabaab. Ethiopia's military has invaded once more from the north but there has been little sign so far of any palpable military successes against the militants who have called on help in repelling "infidel crusaders".
Fearing Somalia is becoming a new gathering point for international jihadists, the United States has increased drone strikes within the Horn of Africa operating out of bases in Djibouti, southern Ethiopia and the Seychelles.
The exact number of foreign fighters within Shabaab's ranks is currently unknown but western intelligence agencies have watched with alarm as both hardened veterans and new foreign recruits have flocked to the area.