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Radicalization the West:
The Homegrown Threat
Prepared by:
Mitchell Silber and Arvin Bhatt
Senior Intelligence Analysts
NYPD Intelligence Division
The New York City Police Department
While terrorism has been with for centuries, the destructive power and global reach
modern terrorism unprecedented. The entire world witnessed the attacks
September 11, 2001, but most the attacks and attempted attacks since then have
shown 9/11 anomaly rather than the standard pattern for terrorism the
homeland. the post-September 11th world has taught anything, that the tools for conducting
serious terrorist attacks are becoming easier acquire. Therefore intention becomes increasingly important factor the formation terrorist cells. This study
attempt look how that intention forms, hardens and leads attack attempted
attack using real world case studies.
While the threat from overseas remains, many the terrorist attacks thwarted plots
against cities Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States have been
conceptualized and planned local residents/citizens who sought attack their
country residence. The majority these individuals began unremarkable they
had unremarkable jobs, had lived unremarkable lives and had little, any criminal
history. The recently thwarted plot homegrown jihadists, May 2007, against Fort
Dix New Jersey, only underscores the seriousness this emerging threat.
Understanding this trend and the radicalization process the West that drives
unremarkable people become terrorists vital for developing effective counterstrategies. This realization has special importance for the NYPD and the City New
York. one the country iconic symbols and the target numerous terrorist plots
since the 1990 New York City continues the one the top targets terrorists
worldwide. Consequently, the NYPD places priority understanding what drives and
defines the radicalization process.
The aim this report assist policymakers and law enforcement officials, both
Washington and throughout the country, providing thorough understanding the
kind threat face domestically. also seeks contribute the debate among
intelligence and law enforcement agencies how best counter this emerging threat better understanding what constitutes the radicalization process.
Raymond Kelly
Police Commissioner the City New York
The New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department
Table Contents
Executive Summary ...Page
The Threat ...Page
Radicalization: Western Style ...Page
The Radicalization Process ..Page
Radicalization the West: Five Foreign Cases Page
Pre-Radicalization .Page
Self-Identification ..Page
Indoctrination .Page
Jihadization Page
Radicalization the United States Page
The New York City Experience Page
September Revisited Page
Findings and Implications ..Page
Glossary Terms ..Page
Endnotes ..Page
Copyright 2007 New York City Police Department. All Rights Reserved.
The New York City Police Department
The NYPD understanding the threat from Islamic-based terrorism New York City
has evolved since September 11, 2001. While the threat from overseas remains,
terrorist attacks thwarted plots against cities Europe, Australia and Canada since
2001 fit different paradigm. Rather than being directed from al-Qaeda abroad, these
plots have been conceptualized and planned unremarkable local residents/citizens
who sought attack their country residence, utilizing al-Qaeda their inspiration
and ideological reference point.
Some these cases include:
Madrid March 2004 attack
Amsterdam Hofstad Group
London July 2005 attack
Australia Operation Pendennis (which thwarted attack(s) November 2005)
The Toronto Case (which thwarted attack June 2006)
Where once would have defined the initial indicator the threat the point where
terrorist group terrorists would actually plan attack, have now shifted our
focus much earlier point point where believe the potential terrorist group
terrorists begin and progress through process radicalization. The culmination this
process terrorist attack.
Understanding this trend and the radicalization process the West that drives
unremarkable people become terrorists vital for developing effective counterstrategies and has special importance for the NYPD and the City New York. one the country iconic symbols and the target numerous terrorist plots since the
1990 New York City continues among the top targets terrorists worldwide. order test whether the same framework for understanding radicalization abroad
applied within the United States, analyzed three U.S. homegrown terrorism cases
and two New York City based cases:
Lackawana, New York
Portland, Oregon
Northern Virginia
New York City Herald Square Subway
New York City The Muhajiroun Two
The same radicalization framework was applied study the origins the Hamburg
cluster individuals, who led the September hijackers. This assessment, almost six
years after 2001, provides some new insights, previously not fully-grasped the law
enforcement and intelligence community, into the origins this devastating attack.
The New York City Police Department
Jihadist jihadi-Salafi ideology the driver that motivates young men and women, born living the West, carry out autonomous jihad via acts terrorism against their
host countries. guides movements, identifies the issues, drives recruitment and the
basis for action.
This ideology has served the inspiration for numerous homegrown groups
including the Madrid March 2004 bombers, Amsterdam Hofstad Group,
London July 2005 bombers, the Australians arrested part Operation
Pendennis late 2005 and the Toronto arrested June 2006.
Process assessment the various reported models radicalization leads the conclusion
that the radicalization process composed four distinct phases:
Stage Pre-Radicalization
Stage Self-Identification
Stage Indoctrination
Stage Jihadization
Each these phases unique and has specific signatures
All individuals who begin this process not necessarily pass through all the
Many stop abandon this process different points
Although this model sequential, individuals not always follow perfectly
linear progression
Individuals who pass through this entire process are quite likely
involved the planning implementation terrorist act
PRE-RADICALIZATION. Pre-Radicalization the point origin for individuals before
they begin this progression. their life situation before they were exposed and
adopted jihadi-Salafi Islam their own ideology.
The majority the individuals involved these plots began unremarkable they had ordinary jobs, had lived ordinary lives and had little, any criminal
SELF-IDENTIFICATION. Self-Identification the phase where individuals, influenced both internal and external factors, begin explore Salafi Islam, gradually gravitate
away from their old identity and begin associate themselves with like-minded
individuals and adopt this ideology their own. The catalyst for this religious seeking cognitive opening, crisis, which shakes one certitude previously held beliefs
and opens individual receptive new worldviews.
The New York City Police Department
There can many types triggers that can serve the catalyst including:
Economic (losing job, blocked mobility)
Social (alienation, discrimination, racism real perceived)
Political (international conflicts involving Muslims)
Personal (death the close family)
INDOCTRINATION. Indoctrination the phase which individual progressively
intensifies his beliefs, wholly adopts jihadi-Salafi ideology and concludes, without
question, that the conditions and circumstances exist where action required support
and further the cause. That action militant jihad. This phase typically facilitated and
driven spiritual sanctioner
While the initial self-identification process may individual act, noted
above, association with like-minded people important factor the process
deepens. the indoctrination phase this self-selecting group becomes
increasingly important radical views are encouraged and reinforced.
JIHADIZATION. Jihadization the phase which members the cluster accept their
individual duty participate jihad and self-designate themselves holy warriors
mujahedeen. Ultimately, the group will begin operational planning for the jihad
terrorist attack. These acts furtherance will include planning, preparation and
While the other phases radicalization may take place gradually, over two
three years, this jihadization component can very rapid process, taking only few months, even weeks run its course.
Al-Qaeda has provided the inspiration for homegrown radicalization and
terrorism; direct command and control al-Qaeda has been the exception,
rather than the rule among the case studies reviewed this study.
The four stages the radicalization process, each with its distinct set
indicators and signatures, are clearly evident each the nearly one dozen
terrorist-related case studies reviewed this report. spite the differences both circumstances and environment each
the cases, there remarkable consistency the behaviors and trajectory each the plots across all the stages.
This consistency provides tool for predictability.
The transnational phenomenon radicalization the West largely function the people and the environment which they live. Much different from the
Israeli-Palestinian equation, the transformation Western-based individual terrorist not triggered oppression, suffering, revenge, desperation.
The New York City Police Department
Rather, phenomenon that occurs because the individual looking for
identity and cause and unfortunately, often finds them the extremist Islam.
There useful profile assist law enforcement intelligence predict who
will follow this trajectory radicalization. Rather, the individuals who take this
course begin unremarkable from various walks life.
Europe failure integrate the 2nd and 3rd generation its immigrants into
society, both economically and socially, has left many young Muslims torn
between the secular West and their religious heritage. This inner conflict makes
them especially vulnerable extremism the radical views, philosophy, and
rhetoric that highly advertised and becoming more and more fashionable
among young Muslims the West.
Muslims the U.S. are more resistant, but not immune the radical message.
The jihadist ideology combines the extreme and minority interpretation [jihadiSalafi] Islam with activist-like commitment responsibility solve global
political grievances through violence. Ultimately, the jihadist envisions world
which jihadi-Salafi Islam dominant and the basis government.
Despite the economic opportunities the United States, the powerful
gravitational pull individuals religious roots and identity sometimes
supersedes the assimilating nature American society which includes
pursuit professional career, financial stability and material comforts.
This ideology proliferating Western democracies logarithmic rate.
The Internet, certain Salafi-based NGO (non-governmental
organizations), extremist sermons /study groups, Salafi literature, jihadi
videotapes, extremist sponsored trips radical madrassas and militant
training camps abroad have served extremist incubators for young,
susceptible Muslims especially ones living diaspora communities the
The Internet driver and enabler for the process radicalization the Self-Identification phase, the Internet provides the wandering mind
the conflicted young Muslim potential convert with direct access
unfiltered radical and extremist ideology. also serves anonymous virtual meeting place place where
virtual groups like-minded and conflicted individuals can meet, form
virtual relationships and discuss and share the jihadi-Salafi message they
have encountered.
During the Indoctrination phase, when individuals adopt this virulent
ideology, they begin interpreting the world from this newly-formed context.
Cloaked with veil objectivity, the Internet allows the aspiring jihadist
view the world and global conflicts through this extremist lens, further
The New York City Police Department
reinforcing the objectives and political arguments the jihadi-Salafi
Individuals generally appear begin the radicalization process their own.
Invariably, they progress through the stages radicalization they seek likeminded individuals. This leads the creation groups clusters. These
clusters appear almost essential progressing the Jihadization stage the
critical stage that leads terrorist act. the Jihadization phase, when individual commits jihad, the Internet
serves enabler providing broad access array information
targets, their vulnerabilities and the design weapons.
Group think one the most powerful catalysts for leading group
actually committing terrorist act. acts force-multiplier for radical
thought while creating competitive environment amongst the group
members for being the most radical.
Although there are many groups clusters individuals that are the path
radicalization, each group needs certain archetypes evolve from just being
bunch guys operational terrorist cell. All eleven case studies had: spiritual sanctioner who provides the justification for jihad
justification that especially essential for the suicide terrorist. some
cases the sanctioner was the nucleus around which the cluster formed. operational leader who essential the group decides conduct
terrorist act--organizing, controlling and keeping the group focused and its
motivation high.
The full radicalization Western individual, groups individuals, does not
always result the committing terrorist act the West. Many fullyradicalized individuals have first looked conduct jihad becoming
mujahedeen and fighting conflicts overseas.
The image the heroic, holy warrior mujahedeen has been widely
marketed the Internet well jihadi tapes and videos. This image
continues resonate among young, especially Muslim, men 15-35 yearsold men who are most vulnerable visions honor, bravery and
sacrifice for what perceived noble cause.
Among those individuals who travel abroad search jihad, some end mujahedeen and fight foreign lands; some are re-directed commit
acts the West, often their country origin, while others give and
return home because they can endure the training have change
The New York City Police Department
For those groups homegrown radicalized individuals who not seek
jihad abroad, the dedication and commitment their leader jihad often
the main factor determining whether the group will commit terrorist act not.
Although the 9/11 attack, with its overseas origins, more exception
terms how terrorist plots have been launched since the destruction the Twin
Towers, has probably been the most important factor proliferating the
process radicalization, especially the West. More importantly, 9/11
established the current trend committing act the name global jihad natural culmination full radicalization and the ultimate responsibility for the
fully radicalized jihadist.
Prior 9/11, the entire radicalization process moved much slower rate.
There was direct link jihad, other than become mujahedeen.
Aspiring jihadists would travel Afghanistan without any idea that they
could become actual terrorists. Now, there longer any illusion
what the adoption jihadi-Salafi ideology means.
The radicalization process accelerating terms how long takes and
the individuals are continuing get younger. Moreover, with the higher
risks associated with heading down this pathway, individuals will seek
conceal their actions earlier, making intelligence and law enforcement job
even more difficult. useful think the radicalization process terms funnel. Entering the
process does not mean one will progress through all four stages and become
terrorist. However, also does not mean that one doesn become terrorist, she longer threat. Individuals who have been radicalized but are
not jihadists may serve mentors and agents influence those who might
become the terrorists tomorrow.
The subtle and non-criminal nature the behaviors involved the process
radicalization makes difficult identify even monitor from law enforcement
standpoint. Taken isolation, individual behaviors can seen innocuous;
however, when seen part the continuum the radicalization process, their
significance becomes more important. Considering the sequencing these
behaviors and the need identify those entering this process the earliest
possible stage makes intelligence the critical tool helping thwart attack
even prevent the planning future plots.
The New York City Police Department
OUTSIDE EXPERT VIEW: Brian Michael Jenkins,
Senior Advisor the President the Rand Corporation
The United States and its allies have achieved undeniable success degrading the operational
capabilities the jihadist terrorist enterprise responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, and
numerous subsequent terrorist operations since then. However, have not dented their
determination, prevented their communications, blunted their message. have not
diminished their capacity incite, halted the process radicalization, impeded the recruitment
that supports the jihadist enterprise. Indeed, recent intelligence estimates concede that activists
identifying themselves jihadists are increasing both number and geographic dispersion. consequence, the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow importance U.S.
counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad, but also the Homeland. the Department
Homeland Security Chief Intelligence Officer testified March 2007, radicalization will continue expand within the United States over the long term.
This study examines the trajectories radicalization that produced operational terrorist cells
Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Sydney and Toronto construct analytical framework that
tracks jihadist recruits from pre-radicalization self-identification indoctrination jihadization-a cycle that ends with capture death. then compares this model with the trajectories
radicalization observed conspiracies within the United States including the jihadist clusters
Lackawanna, Northern Virginia, Portland, Oregon, New York City, and lastly with the Hamburg
cell responsible for the attack 9/11.
Although there have been informative analyses the paths violent jihad individual countries,
this the most comprehensive review across national boundaries, including the terrorist
conspiracies uncovered the United States. The resulting model will undoubtedly become the
basis for comparison with additional cases they are revealed future attacks arrests.
The utility the NYPD model, however, goes beyond analysis. will inform the training
intelligence analysts and law enforcement personnel engaged counterterrorist missions. will
allow identify similarities and differences, and changes patterns over time. will assist
prosecutors and courts the very difficult task deciding when the boundary between bunch guys sharing violent fantasies and terrorist cell determined operational has been
crossed. Above all, identifying key junctions the journey terrorist jihad, should help
the formulation effective and appropriate strategies aimed peeling potential recruits away
from dangerous and destructive course. the NYPD point outs, becoming jihadist gradual, multi-step process that can take
months, even years, although since 9/11 the pace has accelerated. The journey may begin
mosque where radical Imam preaches, informal congregations and prayer groups some
which are clandestine schools, prisons, the Internet.
Self-radicalization may begin the day that individual seeks out jihadist websites. the
physical world when would-be jihadists seek support among local jihadist mentors and likeminded fanatics. This the group that currently poses the biggest danger the West. the
focus the present monograph. the NYPD shows, self-radicalization was often the norm, even before the worldwide
crackdown Qaeda and its jihadist allies forced them decentralize and disperse. Those
who arrived jihadist training camps, like members the Hamburg cell, were already
radicalized. the camps, they bonded through shared beliefs and hardships, underwent
advanced training, and gained combat experience; some were selected Qaeda planners
for specific terrorist operations.
The New York City Police Department
Short preparing for specific attack, hard define the exact point which one becomes
jihadist: Internalization jihadist ideology? Bonding with brothers jihadist retreat?
Downloading jihadist literature bomb-making instructions from the Internet?
Fantasizing about terrorist operations? Reconnoitering potential targets? Going Pakistan?
Signing contract pray for the jihadists, collect money their behalf, support terrorist
operations? Taking oath loyalty Osama bin Laden? The legal definition broad.
Neither imported nor homegrown terrorism new the United States. homegrown conspiracy
(albeit with foreign assistance) was responsible for the 1993 bombing the World Trade Center.
Another homegrown conspiracy carried out the devastating 1995 bombing Oklahoma City. The
United States, over the years, has successfully suppressed these groups through domestic
intelligence collection and law enforcement.
Since 9/11, U.S. authorities have uncovered number alleged individual terrorists and terrorist
rings, including clusters Lackawanna, Northern Virginia, New Jersey, Portland, New York City,
and Lodi and Torrance, California. These arrests, along with intelligence operations, indicate that
radicalization and recruiting are taking place the United States, but there evidence
significant cohort terrorist operatives. therefore worry most about terrorist attacks very
small conspiracies individuals, which nonetheless could equivalent the London subway
bombings jihadist version the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
This suggests that efforts should made enhance the intelligence capabilities local police,
who through community policing, routine criminal investigations, dedicated intelligence
operations may best positioned uncover future terrorist plots. these, continued
intelligence operations are the most important. Radicalization makes little noise. borders
areas protected the First and Fourth Amendments. takes place over long period time.
therefore does not lend itself traditional criminal investigations approach.
The absence significant terrorist attacks even advanced terrorist plots the United States
since 9/11 good news that cannot entirely explained increased intelligence and
heightened security. suggests America Muslim population may less susceptible than
Europe Muslim population, not entirely immune jihadist ideology; indeed, countervailing
voices may exist within the American Muslim community. recent survey Muslim Americans the Pew Research Center supports this thesis. The vast majority American Muslims reject Qaeda violent extremism, although younger Muslims are more accepting violence the
defense Islam. Conversely, may merely indicate that the American Muslim population has not
yet been exposed the degree variety radicalization that its European counterparts have
been exposed to, and requires not majorities, but only handfuls carry out terrorist attacks.
There understandable pressure law enforcement intervene before terrorist attacks occur.
Protecting society against destruction, and possible, diverting vulnerable young men from
destructive and self-destructive paths are vital and legitimate tasks. Doing so, without trampling
our freedoms, requires greater understanding the process that leads terrorism. NYPD has
drawn the map.
The New York City Police Department
Criminologist the Sorbonne University
Criminologists not arrest nor they judge criminals. They try understand how they work,
how their goals are evolving, how their modus operandi changes. rare see police force
able adapt the threat, move from defense pre-emption, try avoid the attack rather
than just arresting the perpetrators afterwards. This what the NYPD has done, after healing
from the 9/11 shock.
The NYPD not only fighting crime and terrorism. examines clues and evidence worldwide
understand what going and detect, early possible, what going threat for
New York City, the citizens the United States America and democracies all over the world.
The NYPD has learned how detect imported terrorists, new converts and homegrown
operators. Based NYPD knowledge and own findings, may highlight some discoveries: Since September 11th, 2001, jihadists comprising around nationalities have been
captured some one hundred countries around the world and jihadi money has been
frozen 130 countries worldwide. result this global war, the battlefield has
stretched across more than two-dozen countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt,
Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, the
UK, the United States and Yemen; Terrorism now the central security concern for our governments. may even said
that terrorism has become war. However, this all-pervasive terrorism has itself undergone significant mutation. The state terrorism the Cold War, whether political
ideological, has almost disappeared; Civilians, cities, corporations and the population large will increasingly affected, they were the attacks 9/11 and the anthrax scares that same year;
New terrorists have emerged. Today, the real menace hybrid groups that are opportunistic and
capable rapid transformation and are not really organizations all, the West generally
uses the term. They not have solid, rigid structures. the contrary, they are fluid, liquid,
even volatile. Al-Qaeda not organization like the IRA the Basque ETA. must look
and think about the terrorism continuum. There real phenomenon communicating
vessels between the different players.
When comes threats, can the information society produce serious diagnoses,
condemned bluster? This crucial question.
Experts the threats and dangers todays world, either side the Atlantic, are not working vacuum. live society whose major characteristics are not particularly conducive the
tasks defense and security. Driving while looking the rear-view mirror only, preparing war
while only checking the last one with idea whats going on, sure way for disaster.
call the Maginot Line Syndrome. The concrete one failed during the last World War when
Adolph Hitlers army simply went around it. The Electronic one collapsed September 11th. need able move out the culture reaction, retrospect, and compilation. Only
this way can arrive the stage forward thinking and enable early detection the threats
and dangers the modern world, our modern world.
This study the NYPDs contribution this essential process.
The New York City Police Department
The NYPD understanding the threat from Islamic-based terrorism New York City
has evolved since September 11, 2001. Where once would have defined the initial
indicator the threat the point where terrorist group terrorists would actually
plan attack, have now shifted our focus much earlier point point where
believe the potential terrorist group terrorists begin and progress through process radicalization. The culmination this process terrorist attack.
The September plot was conceptualized, manned, and funded al-Qaeda
leadership Afghanistan. Because the attack originated abroad, fit and furthered the
pre-existing understanding Islamist terrorism being threat from outside our
borders. the immediate aftermath September 11, the United States military and law
enforcement captured, killed, scattered much al-Qaeda core leadership
eliminating its sanctuary and training camps Afghanistan. result, the threat from
the central core al-Qaeda was significantly diminished.
However, al-Qaeda central core leaders, operatives, and foot soldiers shrunk, its
philosophy global jihad spread worldwide exponential rate via radical Internet
websites and chat rooms, extremist videotapes and literature, radical speeches
extremist imams often creating radical subculture within the more vulnerable Muslim
diaspora communities. This post-September wave militant ideological influences
underpins radicalization the West and what define the homegrown threat.
Moreover, the years since 2001, the attacks September stand out both the
hallmark al-Qaeda attack well the singular exception. Bali [2002], Casablanca
[2003], Madrid [2004], and London [2005] all fit different paradigm. The individuals
who conducted the attacks were for the most part all citizens residents the states
which the attacks occurred. Although few may have received training al-Qaeda
camps, the great majority did not. While al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for each attack
after the fact, these attacks were not under the command and control al-Qaeda
central, nor were they specifically funded al-Qaeda central. Rather, they were
conducted local al-Qaeda inspired affiliate organizations local residents/citizens,
who utilized al-Qaeda their ideological inspiration. now believe that critical identify the al-Qaeda inspired threat the point
where radicalization begins. This radicalization may may not take place the same
town, city, country their terrorist target. For example, the pilots who led the
September hijackers were radicalized Germany, but attacked targets the United
States. Conversely, London July bombers were radicalized the U.K. and attacked
targets the U.K. Consequently, the point origin the development terrorist
really the location where the radicalization takes place.
The New York City Police Department
This study provides conceptual framework for understanding the process
radicalization the West. This framework derived from comparative case study
five prominent homegrown groups/plots around the world which resulted either
terrorist attacks thwarted plots. The cases include Madrid 3/11/04 attack,
Amsterdam Hofstad Group, the London-Leeds 7/7/05 attack, Australia Operation
Pendennis which thwarted attack(s) November 2005 and Canada Toronto
Case, which thwarted attack June 2006. researching these case studies, the NYPD dispatched detectives and analysts
meet with law enforcement, intelligence officials and academics each these
locations enhance our understanding the specifics these events well the
phenomenon homegrown radicalization.
Based this effort, have been able identify common pathways and
characteristics among these otherwise different groups and plots. test whether the framework that derived from this effort applied within the United
States, analyzed three post-September U.S. homegrown terrorism cases
(Lackawana, New York, Portland, Oregon and Northern Virginia) well two New
York City cases (34th Street/Herald Square and the radicalization two al-Muhajiroun
Lastly, applied the framework the Hamburg cluster individuals who led the
September hijackers. This assessment, almost six years after the attacks, provides
some new insights into the origins this devastating attack that were not previously
fully-grasped the law enforcement and intelligence community.
The New York City Police Department
Terrorism the ultimate consequence the radicalization process. the example
the homegrown threat, local residents citizens gradually adopt extremist
religious/political ideology hostile the West, which legitimizes terrorism tool
affect societal change. This ideology fed and nurtured with variety extremist
influences. Internalizing this extreme belief system one own radicalization.
The progression searching, finding, adopting, nurturing, and developing this extreme
belief system the point where acts catalyst for terrorist act defines the
process radicalization. Only through in-depth understanding and appreciation
the societal and behavioral indicators that define the various stages this process can
intelligence and law enforcement agencies array themselves properly against this threat.
Although the process radicalization not unique the West, the scope this study
will limited the Western paradigm focused highlighting the indicators and
signatures that define how populations, many who are more vulnerable the militant
Islamic message become radicalized while living under the influence Western culture
and values.
Radicalization the West often starts with individuals who are frustrated with their lives with the politics their home governments. These individuals ultimately seek other
like-minded individuals and form loose-knit group social network. Together, they
progress through series events, realizations, and experiences that often culminate
the decision commit terrorist act. That said, not all individuals groups who begin
this progression end terrorists. Different pathways, catalysts and exposure
extremist nodes affect their progress. Individuals may drop out stop moving along this
pathway for variety reasons.
Some key factors determining how this process advances are determined social
and behavioral dynamics small groups well the amount time that the group
group member exposed the various nodes incubators extremism. These
incubators are often embedded legitimate institutions, businesses, clubs, and
course, the virtual world the Internet (see Text Box p.20).
Radicalization the West is, first and foremost, driven by:
Jihadi-Salafi Ideology. What motivates young men and women, born living
the West, carry out autonomous jihad via acts terrorism against their host
countries? The answer ideology. Ideology the bedrock and catalyst for
radicalization. defines the conflict, guides movements, identifies the issues,
drives recruitment, and the basis for action. many cases, ideology also
determines target selection and informs what will done and how will
carried out.
The religious/political ideology responsible for driving this radicalization process called jihadist jihadi-Salafi ideology and has served the inspiration for
all nearly all the homegrown groups including the Madrid 2004 bombers, the
Hofstad Group, London 7/7 bombers, the Australians arrested part
Operation Pendennis 2005 and the Toronto 18, arrested June 2006.
The New York City Police Department
The Religious Dimension. Jihadi-Salafi ideology but one stream the
broader Salafi movement. The general goal this Sunni revivalist
interpretation Islam, create pure society that applies literal
reading the Quran and adheres the social practices that prevailed
the time 7th century Arabia.
Implementation sharia law and replacement the system nation
states with worldwide Caliphate are the ultimate political aims. While
other Salafi currents encourage non-violent missionary political
activities achieve these religious/political goals, jihadi-Salafis utilize
endorsements respected scholars Islam show that their aims and
violent means are religiously justified.
Contemporary Saudi (Wahhabi) scholars have provided the
religious legitimacy for many the arguments promoted the
Extreme intolerance and hostility towards unbelievers, including
Jews, Christians, Hindus and Shiites, core doctrine provided Wahhabi religious thought. provides the primary theological
foundation for jihadi-Salafi causes and reduces the barriers
The Political Dimension. The political aspect jihadi-Salafi ideology
heavily underpinned the work Sayyid Qutb, Egyptian author,
Islamist, and the leading intellectual the Muslim Brotherhood the
1950 and 1960 believed that Islam was under attack from the
West and divided the world into the Muslim and the non-Muslim.
Qutb, democracy challenged the sovereignty God divine law and
should resisted. Moreover, also contended that militant jihad had used attack institutions and societies order overthrow nonIslamic governments and bring about pure Islamic society.
The Appeal. For many Muslims the West, especially those the
second and third generation who are seeking learn about their Muslim
heritage, the Salafi interpretation the version Islam they are most
widely exposed to. has become more mainstream and proliferated
within diaspora communities. This interpretation Islam not the
cultural Islam their parents their home countries.
The personal search for one own Muslim identity often dovetails with the
desire find appropriate Islamic response the political crises
involving Muslims worldwide. Complex disputes like the Arab-Israeli
conflict and Kashmir are diluted into one large conflict between believers
and non-believers This powerful and simple one-size fits all
philosophy resonates with the younger diaspora Muslim populations
the West who are often politically ve. This powerful narrative provides
evidence across-the-board plan undermine and humiliate Islam
The New York City Police Department Muslims the West seek determine their appropriate response
this perceived war Islam many look for guidance for action from their
religion. The jihadi-Salafi interpretation paves path terrorism its
doctrines, which suggest that violence viable and legitimate means
defend Islam from perceived enemies, even means attacking one own
government and/or sacrificing your own life.
The New York City Police Department
The radicalization process composed four distinct phases:
Stage Pre-Radicalization
Stage Self-Identification
Stage Indoctrination
Stage Jihadization
Each these phases unique and has specific signatures associated with it. All
individuals who begin this process not necessarily pass through all the stages and
many, fact, stop abandon this process different points. Moreover, although this
model sequential, individuals not always follow perfectly linear progression.
However, individuals who pass through this entire process are quite likely
involved terrorist act.
jihadi-Salafi Ideology
The New York City Police Department
Radicalization Incubators
Critically important the process radicalization are the different venues that provide
the extremist fodder fuel for radicalizing venues, which refer
radicalization incubators.
These incubators serve radicalizing agents for those who have chosen pursue
radicalization. They become their pit stops, hangouts, and meeting places. Generally
these locations, which together comprise the radical subculture community, are rife
with extremist rhetoric. Though the locations can mosques, more likely incubators
include cafes, cab driver hangouts, flophouses, prisons, student associations, nongovernmental organizations, hookah (water pipe) bars, butcher shops and book stores.
While difficult predict who will radicalize, these nodes are likely places where likeminded individuals will congregate they move through the radicalization process.
The Internet, with its thousands extremist websites and chat-rooms, virtual
incubator its own. fact, many the extremists began their radical conversion while
researching just surfing the cyber world. (For further discussion the role the
Internet --See Text Box 37.)
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STAGE PRE-RADICALIZATION. Pre-Radicalization describes individual
world his her pedigree, lifestyle, religion, social status, neighborhood, and
education just prior the start their journey down the path radicalization.
Despite the absence psychological profile likely candidate for radicalization,
there commonality among variety demographic, social, and psychological factors
that make individuals more vulnerable the radical message. For example:
The Environment. The demographic make-up country, state, city, town
plays significant role providing the fertile ground for the introduction and
growth the radicalization process. Enclaves ethnic populations that are
largely Muslim often serve ideological sanctuaries for the seeds radical
thought. Moreover, the greater the purity and isolation these ethnic
communities, the more vulnerable they are penetrated extremism--under
the guise that represents purer, more devout form Islam.
Living within and part diaspora provides increased sense
isolation and desire bond with others the same culture and religion.
Within diaspora Muslim communities the West, there certain
tolerance for the existence the extremist subculture that enables
radicalization. For the individual, radicalization generally takes place
atmosphere where others are being radicalized well.
The Candidates. Individuals, who are attracted radical thought, usually live,
work, play, and pray within these enclaves ethnic, Muslim communities
communities that are dominated Middle Eastern, North African, and South
Asian cultures. Their gender, age, family social status, stage life well
psychological factors all affect vulnerability for radicalization.
Fifteen thirty-five year-old male Muslims who live male-dominated
societies are particularly vulnerable. These individuals are age where
they often are seeking identify who they really are while trying find the
meaning life This age group usually very action-oriented.
Middle class families and students appear provide the most fertile ground
for the seeds radicalization. range socioeconomic and
psychological factors have been associated with those who have chosen
radicalize include the bored and/or frustrated, successful college
students, the unemployed, the second and third generation, new
immigrants, petty criminals, and prison parolees.
Invariably, these individuals seek other like-minded individuals and often form
loose- knit group, cluster, network. Commonalities among these individuals
age, residence, school, interests, personality, and ethnicity are critical
determining who becomes member particular group cluster. Dr.
Marc Sageman, former CIA case officer and author Understanding Terrorist
Networks, noted,
Theres really profile, just similar trajectories joining the jihad and that
most these men were upwardly and geographically mobile. They came
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from moderately religious, caring, middle-class families. Theyre skilled
computer technology. They spoke three, four, five, six languages including
three predominant Western languages: German, French and English. (Al
Qaeda Today: The New Face Global Jihad,
The various local residents and citizens each the five Western-based plots, which have used case studies, shared many the commonalities which define the preradicalization stage such as:
Male Muslims
While women are increasingly becoming involved with jihadi groups;
date, Western-based radicalized women have primarily acted support
Under the age
Local residents and citizens Western liberal democracies
Varied ethnic backgrounds but often are second third generation their home
Middle class backgrounds; not economically destitute
Educated; least high school graduates, not university students
Recent converts Islam are particularly vulnerable not begin radical even devout Muslims
Unremarkable having ordinary lives and jobs
Little, any, criminal history particular, review the each these five cases examined reveals common
details and instances these pre-radicalization signatures signatures depicted
either the people involved the actual plots their surrounding environment. For
MADRID (2004 Attack) March 11th, 2004, group young Islamic extremists
conducted series coordinated bombings against the Cercanias (commuter train)
system Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people and wounding 2,050. Although more than
100 people have been investigated connection the bombings, have been
charged with participating the terrorist attack and the 29, six have been charged
with 191 counts murder and 1,755 counts attempted murder.
The Environment. Close 600,000 Muslims live Spain, with the majority
originating from northern Africas Maghreb countries, mostly Morocco, located
just kilometers across the Straight Gibraltar. Most those living there
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today came during the 1980s. Their numbers grew the 1990s they took jobs Spains growing agricultural, construction, hospitality and service industry.
Currently, there growing second generation teenagers North African
origins who are now 16-17 years old.
The majority the Madrid terrorists lived the same adjacent
neighborhoods within the city limits Madrid. The areas which Madrid
Muslims live are quite diverse, with Castilians and other nationalities, such the
Dominicans, co-habiting within Moroccan diaspora population. This multiethnic environment, general, has facilitated the assimilation these
nationalities into Spanish culture. Yet, was from this milieu that the Madrid
bombers emerged.
The Candidates. The Madrid terrorists were primarily composed 1st
generation North African Muslim men, approximately years old and younger,
who fell both ends the spectrum life-success. Some were drug dealers,
part-time workers and drifting students. Many them had criminal records
Spain for drug trafficking and other petty crimes. Others were students, who
were doing well school and appeared have promising futures. The Spanish
authorities never imagined that group petty drug traffickers and university
students were capable planning such massive attack.
Jamal Ahmidan, Moroccan considered the operational planner, was said
have been happily integrated Spanish society. His Spanish friends included
women who sported crop tops, tattoos and piercings.2 Ahmidan had
immigrated Spain the 1990 and became the head ecstasy and
hashish network that was run close family members based both
Morocco and Spain.
Mohamed and Rachid Ouland Akcha, were also part this drug network.
Jamal Zougam was born Tangier, Morocco and had lived Spain since
1983. and his half-brother Mohammed Chaoui had opened their own
mobile phone shop. Jamal Zougam was described handsome, likable and
one the more popular youths among the Moroccan community living
Madrid. enjoyed alcohol, women, and discos and seemed perfectly
integrated into Spanish society.3
Sarhane ben Abdelmajid Fakhet was promising Tunisian scholarship
recipient, who had come Spain study economics Autonomous
University Madrid and who ultimately was considered ideological leader the cell.4
Roommates Basel Ghayoun (Syria) and Anghar Fouad Morabit (Algeria),
were also foreign university students living Spain.5
AMSTERDAM (Hofstad Group) The Hofstad Group was group young men who
were intent conducting attack the Netherlands and considered variety
targets and plots including terrorist attacks the Dutch Parliament and against several
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strategic targets such the national airport and nuclear reactor. The group also had
the intention assassinate several members government and parliament.
November 2004, Mohammad Bouyeri, member the Hofstad Group, murdered Theo
Van Gogh, nearly decapitating him, execution style. This triggered series arrests
most members the group.
The Environment. The Dutch Muslim community primarily comprised two
major nationalities approximately 350,000 individuals Turkish origin and
300,000 individuals Moroccan descent. The Moroccan community resides
primarily Dutch cities and has had more difficulty integrating into Dutch society
and culture.
This community traces its roots the Netherlands back the 1960 when
many immigrated for economic reasons, arriving temporary guest workers.
More than 90% the Moroccan population came from Berber heritage and
were not well educated. According the Dutch, 2nd generation Moroccans
are five six times more likely involved crime than other Dutch
The Candidates. The Hofstad Group was cluster mostly young Dutch
Muslims from North African ancestry. The group was made young Muslim
males, between the ages and 28; typically but not necessarily the second
generation well small group converts.
Mohammed Bouyeri was born West Amsterdam, the son Moroccan
immigrants. was described cooperative and promising second
generation immigrant Holland some people knew him this stage.6 attended local polytechnic study accounting and information
technology, but reportedly spent lot his time the streets had reputation for quick temper and was arrested for assaulting
police officer with knife.7
Jason Walters, born 1985, was the son American soldier based the
Netherlands and Dutch woman. converted Islam teenager.
Ismail Akhnikh, 21, born Amsterdam Moroccan family, who was unruly teenage student, was sent Syria his family for religious education
before found employment the Netherlands the hi-tech industry.8
Nouredine Fatmi, Berber descent, was born poor Moroccan village
and immigrated Spain age before coming the Netherlands.
LONDON (July 2005 Attack) The July 2005 London transit bombings were series coordinated bomb blasts that hit London public transport system during the morning
rush hour. 8:50 AM, three bombs exploded within fifty seconds each other three
London Underground trains. fourth bomb exploded bus nearly hour later
Tavistock Square. The bombings killed commuters and the four suicide bombers,
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injured 700 and caused severe day-long disruption the city transport infrastructure
The Environment. The United Kingdom has Muslim population close two
million, which half live London. Approximately 66% this population
South Asian (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh). More specifically, the
Bradford/Leeds area, more than 10% this population Kashmiri descent.
Much the population northern England immigrated the U.K. the 1960
and 1970 work the textile industry, which has now fallen hard times.
The Candidates. Three the four bombers--Mohammed Siddique Khan,
Shehzad Tanweer, and Hasib Hussain--were second generation British citizens Pakistani descent from the towns Beeston and Dewsbury, northern
England. All three grew near Leeds, about 180 miles north London.
Germaine Lindsey, fourth bomber, was 1st generation Jamaican from
Buckinghamshire, county adjacent the city Leeds. many who knew them, all four were described being well integrated into
British society. All four had Westernized, and unremarkable backgrounds with
secular upbringings. None were educated Islamic-based schools like
madrasas; rather, they attended state schools and pursued modern studies.
Three the bombers came from well-to-do families.
Mohammad Siddique Khan was family man. was married, father, and
worked teaching assistant with young children job held since
2002. studied business Leeds Metropolitan University, from 19982001. Following graduation, worked for the Benefits Agency and the
Department Trade and Industry. teenager, Mohammad Siddique Khan shook off his PakistaniMuslim identity and presented himself Westernized young man
going the nickname Sid.9
Shehzad Tanweer graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University, majored
sports science, specializing cricket and ju-jitsu. Having come from hard
working and prosperous family, Tanweer had estate worth $200,000 and
drove Mercedes.
Hasib Hussain, introvert, was the youngest four children. Despite
good attendance record, dropped out secondary school 2003.
Hussain was involved with sports, playing both soccer and cricket for local
One bomber was convert Islam. Germaine Lindsay, 19, was
Jamaican-born British resident who converted Islam 2000, and married
white convert. was described bright child, successful academically
school, artistic, musically inclined, and good sports. Lindsay spent his
teenage years close Leeds, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
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MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Operation Pendennis) November 2005 Australian
police raided properties Melbourne and Sydney, arresting men and seizing bombmaking materials well maps Casselden Place, the Melbourne headquarters
the Departments Foreign Affairs and Trade and Immigration.
Although the target set for this group was never definitively determined, the Melbourne
suspects had filmed the Australian Stock Exchange and Flinders Street Station,
Melbourne landmark central train exchange. addition, members the Sydney
cluster were arrested 2004 surveiling the Lucas Heights nuclear power plant and were
reported have targeted the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.11
The Environment. Australia has approximately 340,000 Muslims and they
comprise 1.6 percent its population million. This Muslim community
relatively new Australia Australia policy absorbing significant numbers refugees from war torn regions the world played role the establishment this community. Significant numbers Lebanese refugees, escaping the civil
war that ravaged Lebanon during the 1970 and 1980 settled Australia.
Many second generation Australian citizens from this Lebanese diaspora
population work tradesman and live the larger cities Sydney and
The Candidates. There were two clusters men, one Melbourne and one
Sydney. Virtually all were male Muslims between the ages and 28, who
were either citizens long time residents Australia. least seven the
Melbourne suspects were second generation Australians, the children
Lebanese immigrants who had grown somewhat secular and had only began
practicing Islam months before their arrest.12
Though few were students, most were tradesmen and laborers, including
plumbers and painters. Several had minor criminal records.
Aiman Joud, was born Australia Lebanese parents. One eight
children, lived with his parents and worked site project manager for
the family business, Joud Investments. Previously, had been convicted
firearms and theft charges.
Abdulla Merhi, 20, Lebanese from Melbourne, worked apprentice
Hany Taha, 31, and Izzydeen Atik, had previous police records for minor
Fadal Sayadi, 25, Lebanese from Melbourne, was newly married and
reportedly worked plumber concrete worker. had recently been
convicted minor charges relating attempted theft.
Omar Baladjam, 28, was former child actor from popular television show
who had starred Australia Broadcasting Company Wildside and Home
and Away and ran painting business.
Shane Kent, was convert Islam.
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Amer Haddara, 26, another the Lebanese from Melbourne, had earned
computer science degree university and was working personnel
recruitment firm.13
TORONTO (Toronto Plot) June 2-3, 2006, police and security agencies
Ontario, Canada carried out series counter-terrorism raids the Greater Toronto
Area that resulted the arrest individuals. Canadian authorities believe that the
men had been planning large-scale terrorist attacks, which included detonating truck
bombs least two locations Toronto, opening gunfire crowded public area, and
beheading Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. alleged that the group also
had plans storm/attack various buildings such the Canadian Broadcasting Center,
the Canadian Parliament, the Canadian Secret Intelligence Headquarters, and the
The Environment. The Muslim community 250,000 Toronto represents
approximately the overall population. has significant proportion
doctors, accountants, businessmen and other professionals among this
population. 37% percent this community has South Asian (e.g. India, Pakistan
and Bangladesh) origins and twenty-four percent are Middle Eastern.14
The Candidates. The Toronto plotters consisted people, almost all them their teens early 20s. The group originated from two separate clusters
Mississauga, suburb Toronto and Scarborough, neighborhood Toronto.
Accounts from family and friends the plotters suggest that most, not all, were
well-integrated into Canadian society.
Fahim Ahmad, Zakaira Amara and Saad Khalid, core members the group,
were friends Meadowvale Secondary School Mississauga. They were
known have become more strident their faith they grew older.15
Steven Vikash Chand was Canadian Army Reservist. Prior converting
Islam from Hinduism, approximately 2002, was known have enjoyed
music, dancing and basketball.16
Most the other plotters were not known particularly pious. Two the
plotters, Jahmaal James and Amin Mohammad Durrani, had not practiced
Islam until they started the radicalization process.17
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Steven Vikash Chand AKA Abdul Shakur
Converts have played prominent role the
majority terrorist case studies and tend the
most zealous members groups. Their need
prove their religious convictions their companions
often makes them the most aggressive.
Conversion also tends drive wedge between
the convert and his family, making the radicalizing
group his surrogate family.
Steven Chand, age 25, was born Canada
Hindu parents from Fiji. some ways, Chand was
considered relatively well-integrated, serving the
Canadian military from June 2000 and until April
2004. was some point during this period that converted Islam.
Chand was described mild-mannered and easily influenced. Some speculate that his
alienation from mainstream Canadian society and conversion Islam was related his
parents divorce event that further distanced him from his family.
Chand began attending the Salaheddin Islamic Center, known radical mosque led
fundamentalist imam Aly Hindy. soon went from seeking answers providing them.
Chand began spending two three days week outside public schools handing out
extremist literature and seeking converts among school-age children. the plot progressed was Chand who suggested the most unlikely the group
plans beheading the Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Other prominent converts among the case studies this report include: the Walters
brothers (Netherlands), Shane Kent (Australia), Germaine Lindsey (UK) and Randall
Todd Royer, Yong Kwon, Seifullah Chapman, Hammad Abdur-Raheem and Donald
Surratt (Northern Virginia).
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STAGE SELF-IDENTIFICATION. This stage, which largely influenced both
internal and external factors, marks the point where the individual begins explore
Salafi Islam, while slowly migrating away from their former identity identity that now re-defined Salafi philosophy, ideology, and values. The catalyst for this religious
seeking often cognitive event, crisis, which challenges one certitude
previously held beliefs, opening the individual mind new perception view the
Individuals most vulnerable experiencing this phase are often those who are
crossroad life those who are trying establish identity, direction, while
seeking approval and validation for the path taken. Some the crises that can jumpstart this phase include:
Economic (losing job, blocked mobility)
Social (alienation, discrimination, racism real perceived)
Political (international conflicts involving Muslims)
Personal (death the close family)
Political and personal conflicts are often the cause this identity crisis. political crisis sometimes brought about some the moral shock tactics used extremists
spewing out political messages, arguments, and associated atrocities that highlight
some particular political grievance that Islam has with the West, with one own
government. These messages are usually proliferated via literature, speeches, TV,
websites, chatrooms, videotapes, other media.
Chronic exposure these extremist political campaigns (e.g. conflicts Muslims
Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Israel/Palestinians and Iraq) may initiate
feelings moral outrage. This outrage, which usually resonates louder with Muslims
who are already experiencing identity crisis, leads them sense become bornagain religious renewal that all too often shaped radical interpretation
what means Muslim non-Muslim society.19 personal crisis such the death family member, parolee search for new
direction life, turn religion means dealing with life crises and
disappointment for atoning for past transgressions, and loneliness are all examples
personal conflicts with which many these Western-based terrorists struggled.20
The key influences during this phase conflict and religious seeking includes trusted
social networks made friends and family, religious leaders, literature and the
Given the high volume, popularity, and almost faddish nature the extremist agenda, individual who goes searching for answers will invariably exposed plethora
Salafi/Wahhabi interpretations Islam. Most often the vehicles for these exposures
include family ties old friendships, social networks, religious movements like the
Tablighi Jamaat, political movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, extremist-like
discussions halal butcher shops, cafes, gyms, student associations, study groups,
non-governmental organizations and, most importantly, the Internet.
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Ultimately the individual alienated from his former life and affiliates with like-minded
individuals, who, via small group dynamics, strengthen his dedication Salafi Islam.
Importantly, this phase characterized self-selection process which individuals
first join group that then becomes radicalized.
These crises often compel these individuals seek out other like-minded individuals,
who may experiencing the same inner conflict. Subsequently, clusters like-minded
individuals begin form, usually around social circles that germinate within the
extremist incubators. Sometimes these clusters develop into actual jihadist cell cell
that has committed conducting terrorist act.
Two key indicators within this self-identification stage that suggests progression along
the radicalization continuum are:
Progression Gravitation Towards Salafi Islam
Regular Attendance Salafi mosque these individuals adopt Salafism, typical signatures include:
Becoming alienated from one former life; affiliating with like-minded
Joining forming group like-minded individuals quest
strengthen one dedication Salafi Islam
Giving cigarettes, drinking, gambling and urban hip-hop gangster
Wearing traditional Islamic clothing, growing beard
Becoming involved social activism and community issues
MADRID (2004 Attack)
Gravitating Towards Salafi Islam. variety political and personal crises
contributed Madrid bombers attraction the Salafi/Wahhabi interpretation
Islam during their inner battle defining who they were. For example:
For Tunisian scholarship recipient, Sarhane ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, was personal crisis. After growing middle-class family Tunis, Fakhet
moved Madrid 1994, armed with 29,500 Spanish-government
scholarships study economics. first was gracious and engaging, says Miguel rez Mart
professor the Autonomous University Madrid, where met Fakhet fellow student 1996.
However, over the next few years Fakhet withdrew from school and the
world general. was described having become incommunicative.
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(The exact nature this personal crisis has not been disclosed.)
consequence, Fakhet spent more and more time the Salafi mosques and
was only interested talking about Islam and the misery the world.21 these individuals adopted Salafi ideology, they sought out like-minded
individuals joining groups that provided them validation their new
found beliefs. Members these groups had ties other militant groups;
some even had specialized skills that could used for terrorist purposes.
Basel Ghayon, Syrian, and Moroccan Anghar Foud Morabit joined
Salafi/Wahhabi circle led Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, 32-year-old
Egyptian known Mohamed the Egyptian.
Sayed Ahmed, who claimed veteran jihadi who had fought both
Bosnia and Afghanistan, was member Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
former member the Egyptian army, Sayed Ahmed was explosives
expert. began attending Friday prayers the M-30 mosque 2001,
where came contact with many the Madrid bombers.22
The Salafi Mosque. these individuals continued moving towards Salafism,
they began attending Centro Cultural Isl mico (Islamic Cultural Center), popularly
known the M-30 mosque. M-30 was name that was coined for this
mosque due its proximity Madrid M-30 motorway). M-30 had history
being the mosque choice for radical-thinking Muslims and extremist
incubator, became hub for the formation the Madrid bomber cell.
Some the Madrid bombers met with remnants extremist group
which had formed around Imam Eddin Barakat Yarkas the 1990
These extremists played critical role the further radicalization the
Madrid bombers.
Yarkas had organized militant Salafi support network for jihadi
fighters Bosnia Spain the 1990 and prayed the M-30
mosque Madrid.
Before Yarkas was arrested after 9/11, his group proselytized their
views and eventually challenged the imam the mosque for its
AMSTERDAM (Hofstad Group)
Gravitating Towards Salafi Islam. Mohammed Bouyeri journey radicalism
appears have begun during his seven month stay prison sentence based assault charge. became more religious and extreme his views.24
After being released from prison, Bouyeri switched his academic pursuits
from accounting social work and began volunteering his local
community center. His friends say began wear traditional clothing
and grew beard. was also more sensitive political issues such
the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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Bouyeri transformation continued with deepening his religious convictions
while his views social issues became more conservative. Bouyeri became more activist began organizing Salafi-related
events the community center. discouraged women from attending
and sought ban alcohol. Eventually, Bouyeri was asked leave.25
The Salafi Mosque. Bouyeri began frequenting the Al-Tawheed mosque
mosque that was well known Dutch authorities being Salafi and very
extreme. The imam the mosque praised suicide bombers and sold literature
that advocated the killing homosexuals.26
LONDON (July 2005 Attack)
Gravitating Towards Salafi Islam. Beeston extremist mosque and
surrounding community, including youth clubs, gyms, and Islamic bookshop
served the extremist incubators for Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shezhad
Tanweer and Hasib Husain adoption Salafi Islam. 2001, members the 7/7 London group began spend time youth
club Beeston, playing pool, boxing, and hanging out. Extremists often
used the club venue proliferate their radical messages the more
susceptible youth. Jihad was frequent topic discussion the club.
One the gyms was known the al-Qaeda gym due its significant
extremist membership.27
All three the 2nd generation Pakistani London bombers appeared experience
this Salafi-based religious transformation; while Germaine Lindsay converted.
Mohammed Siddique Khan transformation began when first entered
Leeds Metropolitan University between 1998 and 2000.28
Khan, somewhat new Salafi Islam himself, began pray
regularly school, attend mosque Fridays. gave
fighting, bouts drinking and using drugs. began volunteering teaching assistant elementary school.29
Shezhad Tanweer changed well, giving casinos rest and growing
Hasib Husain appeared become more religious wearing traditional
clothing and prayer cap after trip hajj Saudi Arabia 2002.31
Germaine Lindsay mother had converted Islam 2000 and, shortly
after, converted taking the name Jamal Lindsay behavior became
somewhat erratic and began associating with troublemakers. his local mosque and within his Islamic circles Huddersfield
and Dewsbury, Lindsay was admired for the speed with which
achieved fluency Arabic. According those who knew him,
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memorized long passages the Quran, showing unusual maturity
and seriousness. also began wearing the traditional white
thobe.32 2002, Germaine Lindsay mother moved the live with
another man, leaving Lindsay alone the family home
Huddersfield. This has been described traumatic experience
for Lindsay, for which was ill equipped and may have pushed
him towards seeking solace and support the Salafist mosque.33
The Salafi Mosque. Mohammed Siddique Khan attended all three mosques
Beeston, least two which had strong extremist influence.
The Hardy Street mosque was run Kashmiri Muslims; The Stratford
Street Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat; and the Bengali mosque Tunstall
Road Bangladeshis, primarily. Finally, Khan chose belong the
Stratford Street mosque mosque which followed the more rigid,
orthodox, Deobandi school Islam, with heavy Tablighi Jamaat
MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Operation Pendennis)
Though the details what characterized this self-identification process among the
members the Sydney and Melbourne clusters are not yet available, appears these
plotters also experienced that same pattern struggling for identity, dissatisfaction with
mainstream Islam, and looking Salafism answer.
Gravitating Towards Salafi Islam. Forty-five year-old cleric Abdul Nacer
Benbrika, native Algerian and leader both the Sydney and Melbourne
clusters, appears have begun his radicalization journey once arrived
Australia 1989. For Benbrika, Sheikh Mohamed Omran, was the extremist
incubator, who paved the way for his radicalization. Omran was follower the
infamous jihadi-Salafi cleric, Abu Qatada, whom Omran brought Australia
speaking tour 1994.35
The Salafi Mosque. Benbrika began preaching Omran Brunswick mosque,
attracting small following. called Osama bin Laden great man and
endorsed the goals and actions Algeria Salafist Group for Call and Combat
(GSPC). Later, Abdul Nacer Benbrika was able extend his influence into New
South Wales, creating second cell the Sydney area. number those arrested Melbourne part Operation Pendennis
frequented the Brunswick mosque. This location served hub where
many the Melbourne suspects began self-identify with the jihadi-Salafi
ideology propagated Benbrika.36
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TORONTO (Toronto Plot)
Gravitating Towards Salafi Islam. Similar the many those involved the
other plots and attacks, the Toronto plotters also struggled with their identity
evidenced this excerpt from poem that was posted the Internet
Zakaria Amara 2001.
Please someone find want find the light
but one there guide
Open the door someone give its key
Saad Khalid, high school student Meadowvale Secondary School, formed
the Religious Awareness Club During lunch time, would preach Islam
other students and spent good part his time with Fahad Ahmad and Zakaria
Amara. The trio even created chat group called the Meadowvale Brothers
Schoolmates stated that the three began dress more traditionally and became
more withdrawn.
The Salafi Mosque. The trio from Meadowvale began attending the Rahman
mosque Mississauga, where they met Qayyum Abdul Jamaal, the spiritual
sanctioner who would help them progress the next stage radicalization.37
While some the other plotters attended different mosques, all were
progressively being radicalized.
Steven Vikash Chand attended the Salaheddin Islamic Center, known
radical mosque. Imam Aly Hindy, Islamic fundamentalist, was his
mentor. April 2004, Chand, who had been enrolled the reservist corps since
June 2000, renounced his Hindu faith, declared himself Muslim, and left the
reserves. recounted those his unit, before Chand left the reserves, had reported for duty with the beginnings beard, telling his
sergeant that was required his religion.38
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STAGE INDOCTRINATION. Indoctrination the stage which individual
progressively intensifies his beliefs, wholly adopts jihadi-Salafi ideology and concludes,
without question, that the conditions and circumstances exist where action required
support and further the Salafist cause. That action militant jihad. spiritual
sanctioner plays leading role this phase radicalization (see Text Box 38).
The key aspect this stage the acceptance religious-political worldview that
justifies, legitimizes, encourages, supports violence against anything kufr, unIslamic, including the West, its citizens, its allies, other Muslims whose opinions are
contrary the extremist agenda. effect, the individuals become indoctrinated, they
re-define their direction life. That is, rather than seeking and striving for the more
mainstream goals getting good job, earning money, and raising family, the
indoctrinated radical goals are non-personal and focused achieving the greater
good. The individual sole objective centers around the Salafi aim creating pure
fundamentalist Muslim community worldwide.
Two key indicators that individual progressing experiencing this stage
radicalization are:
Withdrawal from the Mosque. individuals begin conceive militant jihad objective, they retreat from the mosque the mosque that not only served extremist incubator for their formative years becoming radicalized but also
and often the place where these individuals met their like-minded cohorts.
This withdrawal sometimes provoked the fact that the mosque
longer serves the individual radicalization needs. other words, the
individual level extremism surpasses that the mosque. Many
these withdrawals are preceded some type quarrel between the
individual and mosque officials and/or other worshippers. Other times, the
mosque perceived potential liability. individual who begins contemplate action now perceives the mosque threat exposing his her intentions. Given the series terroristrelated arrests over the past few years, mosques are now perceived
being monitored law enforcement and intelligence.
Politicization New Beliefs. these individuals mold new identities based Salafi ideology, they now begin transfer this radical vision and mindset
the real world. Global events are now perceived through this newly found
extremist ideological lens. From the conflict Kashmir the U.S. invasion
Iraq, all are blamed conspiratorial attack unbelievers Islam and the
Muslim world.
What was merely ideology transforms into personal cause. The world for
these individuals becomes divided into two sides: the enlightened believers
(themselves) and the unbelievers (everybody else). The unbelievers become
their arch enemy. Signatures associated with this phase include:
Joining group like-minded extremists that help facilitate the individual
continued departure from the secular world and all the things represents.
The group becomes the individual new world. The group members
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become their new family substituting the need for any interaction with the
outside world.
Holding meetings and discussions with increasing radical agenda
more private settings such the private residences the group
members, back rooms book stores, isolated corners prayer
Consequently, individuals progress through the indoctrination phase, they most likely
have already sought, found and bonded with other like-minded individuals. This looselyknit but cohesive group people forms cluster alliance based social,
psychological, ideological, and ethnic commonalities.
The Internet Evolving Resource
The Internet plays important role during the radicalization process. individuals
progress through the various stages, their use the internet evolves well. the
Self-Identification phase, the internet serves chiefly the person source information
about Islam and venue meet other seekers online. With the aggressive proliferation the jihadi-Salafi ideology online, nearly impossible for someone avoid this
extreme interpretation Islam.
During the Indoctrination phase those undergoing this self-imposed brainwashing devote
their time the cyber world the extremist sites and chat rooms tapping into virtual
networks like-minded individuals around the world who reinforce the individual
beliefs and commitment and further legitimize them. this stage, individuals the
groups they are are likely begin proliferating jihadi-Salafist ideology online along
with consuming it. The Internet becomes virtual echo chamber acting
radicalization accelerant while creating the path for the ultimate stage Jihadization. the Jihadization phase, people challenge and encourage each others move action.
The internet now tactical resource for obtaining instructions constructing
weapons, gathering information potential targets, and providing spiritual justification
for attack.
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ARCHETYPES: The Spiritual Sanctioner
Ridwan Al-Issar dramatic change lifestyle and ensuing isolation creates
vacuum requiring even more guidance how build new
life that supports his newfound ideology. Individuals seen
being able provide crucial guidance how live every
detail the religion have critical role during this phase.
Consequently, critical element pushing group further
along the radicalization path the spiritual sanctioner This
person generally appears during the Self-Identification phase
and the major influence during the Indoctrination phase.
The sanctioner responsible for developing the Us-versus-Them/War Islam
worldview among the group that provides the moral justification for jihad. The sanctioner often self-taught Islamic scholar and will spend countless hours providing cutand-paste version Islam which radicalizes his followers. many cases, the
sanctioner not involved any operational planning but vital creating the jihadi
The role this spiritual sanctioner cannot underestimated because individual
respects Islamic scholar and that scholar tells him that fighting the jihad
religious duty and the only way please God, the advice can have enormous effect choices.
According press reports, Al-Issar first applied for asylum Germany 1995 and was
not religious. used multiple alias and asylum applications keep him Germany
and the Netherlands. When his asylum application was rejected Germany, tried
again the Netherlands 1998. During his stay Dutch asylum hostels, appears
underwent spiritual awakening.
Al-Issar began studying jihadist literature and learning about Islam the Internet.
There evidence that ever formally studied Islam and the evidence suggests
went from non-religious Islamic expert within about two years.
Armed with his Internet derived scholarship Al-Issar soon began giving lectures and
gravitated towards the radical Al-Tawheed mosque Amsterdam. Al-Tawheed, AlIssar came contact with the young men who formed the Hofstad Group and began
serving their spiritual guide.
Al-Issar eventually withdrew from the mosque and began preaching private
apartments his followers. unclear exactly how much Al-Issar was involved the
operational planning the group. vanished the day Theo van Gogh was
murdered and Dutch authorities believe may Syria.
Other spiritual sanctioners among the case studies this report include: Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed (Madrid), Abdul Nacer Benbrika (Sydney/Melbourne), Qayyum Abdul
Jamal (Toronto) and Ali Timimi (Virginia).
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MADRID (2004 Attack)
Withdrawal from the Mosque. During the indoctrination phase, members the
Madrid group began separate themselves from secular society. They left the
M-30 mosque because was not sufficiently extreme and was potentially too
conspicuous (monitored the authorities). mid-2002, some the main cocoordinators the attacks began holding their radical discussions the living
room Faisal Allouch nearby private house, where they discussed jihad.
Politicization New Beliefs. According Spanish court documents, Tunisian
student Sarhane ben Abdelmajid Fakhet activities became more radical
following Spain participation the 2003 Iraq War Coalition.
During 2003, Fakhet spent considerable time cruising jihadi websites for
ideas terrorist attacks. Based analysis his computer hard drive,
Fakhet was specifically interested the explosives used both the Bali
and Casablanca.
Prison Radicalizing Cauldron
Prisons can play critical role both triggering and reinforcing the radicalization
process. The prison isolated environment, ability create captive audience
atmosphere, its absence day-to-day distractions, and its large population
disaffected young men, makes excellent breeding ground for radicalization.
Two the Madrid bombers--Moroccan Jamal Ahmidan and Algerian Alleka Lamari
were either radicalized more deeply indoctrinated prison.
Ahmidan, non-observant Muslim incarcerated for petty crimes, was
indoctrinated into radical Islam while Moroccan jail over the course about years. Ahmidan was fascinated some the inmates who were veterans the Afghan jihad. these jihadists used the prisons--a haven disaffected
men who are ripe for radicalization-- for attracting future recruits, Ahmidan also
became fascinated with their radical views.
Ahmidan was released 2003 man now wholly transformed into Salafi,
ideologically and politically. Upon his return Spain, Ahmidan not only prayed
the required five times day, but spoke incessantly about jihad and his desire
fight the Americans Iraq. Although Ahmidan stopped drinking and using drugs
following his transformation, continued sell drugs non Muslims.
Allekema Lamari, who had been arrested 1997 for belonging Algerian
extremist group, had already been radicalized. However, according open
source, his five year stint prison nurtured his extremist views and actually
intensified his radical mindset. During his incarceration, Lamari joined
Algerian Islamist prison group.43
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AMSTERDAM (Hofstad Group)
Withdrawal from the Mosque. Mohammed Bouyeri withdrawal from the AlTawheed mosque was influenced the decision the entire radical group,
which belonged leave. The group, which included several members
the Hofstad Group, was mentored Redouan Issar, Syrian who belonged the Muslim Brotherhood. Issar was the group spiritual sanctioner The
group began holding both prayer and political discussion sessions Bouyeri
apartment. During these private sessions, the group also watched jihadi videos
and was active online promoting and debating jihad.
Politicization New Beliefs. Mohammed Bouyeri progression from the selfidentification stage indoctrination was swift. The articles that Bouyeri would
write for the community center, where volunteered, became increasingly more
radical Bouyeri religious and political views became intertwined.
While early 2002, Bouyeri was writing about tolerance and mutual
respect, April 2003, was comparing the Dutch police Nazis and
calling for American soldiers Iraq beheaded. mid 2003, his
writings became even more strident:
the Netherlands now our enemy, because they participate
the occupation Iraq. shall not attack our neighbors but
will those who are apostates and those who are behaving like our
enemy. the group communication coordinator Bouyeri further nurtured his
political agenda hosting chat room for like-minded individuals, and
translating/posting essays prominent jihadist thinkers, including Abu Ala
Maududi and Sayid Qutb, websites.
LONDON (July 2005 Attack)
Withdrawal from the Mosque. 2001, the two leading members the 7/7
group, Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shezhad Tanweer left the local Deobandi
mosque Beeston, saying its approach outreach was too narrow, its focus too
apolitical. The young zealots felt contempt for the mosques imams, who were
from the subcontinent, spoke minimal English and knew little the challenges
British Muslims faced. Moreover, the Deobandi mosques did not address the
issues concern the members the 7/7 group and instead abided
injunction mosque elders that politics current events involving Muslims
should stay outside the mosque.
Politicization New Beliefs. After they left the mosques, they gravitated the
Iqra Learning Center Beeston, just blocks away from the youth center. This
was part the process gradually separating themselves from secular society
and self-radicalizing. They were soon joined Hasib Husain. Here they were
free from their parents Islam well from scrutiny. They had political
discussions about Iraq, Kashmir, Chechnya and organized study groups and
produced jihad videos depicting crimes the West the Muslim world and
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accessed the internet. This local bookshop was central node the community
for radical Islam not only did sell Islamic books, tapes and DVD but also
hosted lectures and discussion groups Islam. 2002, Khan was leading and participating paintball outings with youth
groups from the Leeds area. These events served bonding and vetting
opportunities and were often preceded Islamist themed lectures.
believed that through one these outings, Khan met Germaine Lindsay.
Lindsay had been strongly influenced the extremist preacher Abdallah
Faisal (also Jamaican origin) who served prison sentence the U.K.
for soliciting murder, incitement murder, incitement racial hatred and
distributing material racial hatred nature. Lindsay believed have
attended least one lecture and have listened tapes other lectures him.
MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Operation Pendennis)
Withdrawal from the Mosque. Ultimately, Imam Abdul Nacer Benbrika broke
away from Omran Brunswick mosque, taking the most violent, radical elements the congregation with him. addition, rather than studying jurisprudence
recognized Islamic university, Benbrika taught himself Islam, largely cut off from
the wider community.51 This absence classical background contributed
Benbrika adoption the jihadi-Salafi interpretation Islam and only enabled
him teach the younger group members cut and paste version Islam.
Politicization New Beliefs. Based information that came light the
trial for the Melbourne cell the summer 2006, Benbrika indoctrination the
group was based his belief that the Islamic community was under attack from
the non-Islamic community infidels. said that Muslims were committed
engage violent jihad, persuade the government withdraw Australian
troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and frequently discussed the Islamic duty
fight the kufr (unbelievers infidels). Benbrika preached that there was
difference between the government and the people who elected the government
Benbrika served spiritual sanctioner for both Australian clusters.
TORONTO (Toronto Plot)
Withdrawal from the Mosque. 2005, some the group members from
Meadowvale Secondary School began skip classes visit Musalla-e-Namira, private, informal prayer room top floor two-story building near high
school Scarborough.
Politicization New Beliefs. this stage, the young men Toronto were
ready hear more strident Islamic message. Mississauga, the year-old
Qayyum Abdul Jamaal was delivering that message. Abdul Jamaal was known
The New York City Police Department the other congregants have us-versus-them view the world which
Muslims were being oppressed the West. had formal religious role
the mosque but his radical views were tolerated the leadership because
cleaned the mosque for free.53 Abdul Jamaal also had reputation for reaching
out young people, taking them camping, playing basketball, etc. The suspects
soon began influenced his views and adopted them their own.
Online, the suspects began discussing political issues and the permissibility jihad. They watched jihadi videos online and communicated with likeminded individuals from around the world ranging from the U.K .to Bosnia.
Communication chat rooms with like-minded individuals around the world
served echo chamber for their jihadists views, serving only
reinforce them. The Mississauga group went far wearing combat
fatigues the mosque fact that was noted unusual the other
congregants, but not reported authorities. they got deeper into this insular world, their ideas began harden.
extract from one Zakaria Amara online poems written 2003 stands
stark contrast from searching poem wrote just two years prior. See
the comparison the two below:
Please someone find want find the light
but one there guide
Open the door someone give its key
2003 filled with peace when the masjid hear the Iqama
But when show more interest they call Osama
Just trying practice deen they call extreme
They tell too young, only sixteen Scarborough, convert Steven Vikash Chand and another suspect, Mohamed
Durrani took their new found fervor recruit more young people. Both spent
time the campus local high school where they were able convince the
youngest members the group join.
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STAGE JIHADIZATION. This the phase which members the cluster accept
their individual duty participate jihad and self-designate themselves holy warriors mujahedeen. Ultimately, the group will begin operational planning for jihad
terrorist attack. These acts furtherance will include planning, preparation and
execution. the jihadization phase, small group dynamics play much more prominent role.
While during the earlier stages, the group members may have been only acquaintances,
meeting each other Salafi chat rooms, university simply being friends, the
jihadization phase the group has solidified and hardened. Individuals see themselves
part movement and group loyalty becomes paramount above all other relationships.
Group-think now becomes force multiplier for radicalization and invariably paves the
way for action. action becomes group objective, each member the cluster
challenged accept jihad individual obligation anointing themselves holy
warriors mujahedeen. This act accepting personal duty participate jihad its very nature internal decision and one with very subtle, not invisible,
signatures. fact, the only way know someone has passed this marker
observing their subsequent actions gaining window into their personal feelings.
While some individuals independently seek opportunities fulfill this jihadi obligation;
others achieve being part group that decides, collectively, conduct terrorist
act. attack group objective, the next step will include target selection and
operational planning. Although the commitment accept jihad individual choice,
the decision attack made group and the actual attack conducted the
group. The type targets group cluster chooses and the modus operandi
employs might vary considerably between individual clusters. However, the ultimate
objective for any attack always the same--to punish the West, overthrow the
democratic order, re-establish the Caliphate, and institute sharia. critical note that while the other stages radicalization may take place, gradually,
over two three years, the jihadization stage the stage which defines the actual
attack--can occur quickly, and with very little warning. some cases, this stage runs its
course little couple weeks. The jihadization stage contains many substages, all which usually occur, but not necessarily sequentially. Each these substages characterized unique set indicator(s).
Accepting Jihad/Decision Commit Jihad. each group member accepts
jihad, they often look abroad--seeking that one trigger that will lead their final
acceptance jihad for others opportunity actually conduct jihad.
Traveling Abroad. Frequently, but not always, one more members
particular Western-based cluster travels abroad. This travel often follows
contributes member decision commit jihad. The travel more
often than not militant training camp camp usually country
region that regarded field jihad. Pakistan, particular, well
Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Somalia are popular destinations. The
leaders these clusters are usually the ones who pursue this travel
experience that appears the final catalyst for group action.
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Many those who embark such trips either are seeking further religious
justification for their newly adopted jihadi mindset have already
committed jihad and now are looking for opportunities put thought into
For those seeking religious justification, attending religious
retreat steeped with extremist thought and apart from the
distractions inherent Western civilization often acts
suicidal trigger providing the attendee the justification and
conviction for suicidal jihad.
For those seeking action, their initial intention most often
become mujahedeen and fight for particular cause. However,
many are regarded battlefield liabilities and rejected. Some are
re-directed return home and fulfill their jihadist objectives
conducting terrorist act their Western homeland.
Individuals reared Western urban setting and culture
usually lack the physical and mental fortitude and endurance survive, much less, fight underdeveloped and severe
environments such Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iraq and
Somalia. Moreover, the lack native language capability also
can limit their value and acceptance fighters.
Training/Preparation. members cluster decide conduct jihad, they
become more and more isolated from their secular outside the group life.
They reach point where the only people they truly trust are members their
group. They become very attached each other and often seek opportunities
bond, train, and things together.
These activities help define the roles and capabilities each individual while
solidifying the group cohesiveness, and esprit-de-corps that vital for
successful coordinated attack. Prior launching the attack, many these
clusters have participated some form group training and preparation
Outward Bound -like Activities. Activities such camping, white-water
rafting, paintball games, target shooting, and even outdoor simulations
military-like maneuvers have been popular among these groups once they
reach this stage radicalization.
Once would-be terrorists commit jihad, some require continual
reinforcement for committing the act act that will require people die.
For plots involving suicide, one the most critical requirements for success the un-wavering conviction each individual member the group die taking his/her own life. This conviction especially difficult maintain Western environment predominantly secular environment that values
life, does not condone suicide, and markets wealth, comfort, and prosperity ultimate life goals. members cluster progress through the
jihadization phase the process, they have committed jihad but continue reinforce their commitment via group think. However, each member often
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requires additional individual reinforcement. For example,
Mental Reinforcement Activities. Members cluster that have
committed murder and, some cases, suicide often turn the Internet
other extremist media fortify their resolve die.
Extremist websites, chatrooms, and blogs provide forums for rallying
support, alleviating fears, and obtaining religious sanctions.
Jihadist videos and tapes help psych the terrorist glorifying death jihad true hero inevitable fate.
Other means for reinforcement that potential suicide bombers have
used include drafting last will and testament making pre-suicide
video. Both these mechanisms allow the suicide terrorist renew his her extremist vows while ensuring that their death has meaning.
also permits them bid final farewell family--hoping retain their
honor and admiration.
Attack Planning. Once cluster group decides conduct attack, they
begin conducting research while holding secretive tactical group discussions
targets, the mode attack, the operational scenario (date, time, and hour), and
the role each group member. This sub-stage includes several indicators such
Researching the Internet. The Internet has been used extensively
the plotters terrorist attacks choosing targets, formulating the mode
attack, and acquiring the technical capability. The Internet broad and
unrestricted access information has provided attack planners with variety options and advice for launching attack.
Reconnaissance/Surveillance. Drawing maps, videotaping targets, and
staking out target areas will invariably conducted the run-up any
Acquiring Materiel/Developing the Device. The majority the devices
used that were being planned used the homegrown plots were
either commercially available reasonably obtainable. Fertilizer-based
devices, commercial explosives, cell phones and explosive ignition devices
have all been acquired with relative ease.
That said, the acquisition the materiel and the development the weapon
has occasion been associated with low-end criminal activity and almost
always suspicious activity such as: cooking chemicals form explosives
bathtubs, purchasing large amounts any one chemical material,
outfitting/modifying backpacks, buying TNT and wiring watches
The ultimate stage jihadization is, course, the actual attack. this time, all the
potential preemptive indicators have expired. The terrorists have attained both intention
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and capability and the chances for law enforcement and intelligence thwarting
preventing attack extremely low.
MADRID (2004 Attack)
Accepting Jihad/Decision Commit Jihad. The catalyst for pushing the
Madrid group into the jihadization phase was the anonymous posting
December 10, 2003, document called Jihadi Iraq: Hopes and Dangers:
Practical Steps for the Blessed Jihad, the Global Islamic Media, one the
more popular jihadi websites.
The page document discussed ways defeat the U.S. occupation Iraq. Its
strategy was leave the U.S. with the complete financial burden for the
occupation, which eventually would result its withdrawal. The way
accomplish this goal was politically force U.S. allies withdraw from Iraq.
Therefore say that order force the Spanish government
withdraw from Iraq, the resistance should deal painful blows its forces.
This should accompanied information campaign clarifying the
truth the matter inside Iraq. necessary make utmost use the
upcoming general election Spain March next year. think that the
Spanish government could not tolerate more than two, maximum three
blows, after which will have withdraw result popular pressure.
This document was also found Sarhane ben Abdelmajid Fakhet computer
and believed have influenced the timing the attack. The document called
for campaign bombings, shortly before the March 14, 2004 general elections,
resulting change government, which would then order the withdrawal
Spanish troops from Iraq.
Attack Planning. Once the Madrid group committed jihad December 2003,
they scrambled acquire the capability launch the attack.
Fakhet downloaded tactical information how make bombs and how
use cell phones detonators.
Jamal Ahmidan used his ties Moroccan hashish gang barter drugs
for dynamite.
The group rented house Chinchon for storing the hashish, dynamite
and ultimately building the bombs. March 4th, Jamal Zougam, purchased and supplied stolen Mitsubishi
Tritium T110 mobile phones cell phones serve detonators.
The Result. the morning March 11, 2004, the group bombed the Spanish
rail system.
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AMSTERDAM (Hofstad Group)
Accepting Jihad/Decision Commit Jihad. 2003, various members the
Hofstad cluster had exhibited actions that demonstrated that they had committed jihad. Jason Walters, the 19-year old Dutch-American convert, was one the
first commit jihad. had already made hit list including number
prominent Dutch political figures including Ayaan Hirsi Ali among others.
Some time before September 2003, believed that Jason Walters had
attended training camp Pakistan and/or Afghanistan.
Samir Azzouz had become well known Dutch authorities for attempting
join Islamic fighters Chechnya.
Attack Planning. October 2003, Samir Azzouz had obtained bomb making
equipment and developed list targets including the Dutch Parliament,
Amsterdam international airport and nuclear power plant. October 14, 2003, group members, Samir Azzouz, Ismail Akhnikh, Jason
Walters and Redouan al-Issar were arrested for planning attack the
Netherlands. While the others were released for lack evidence, Azzouz was
tried but acquitted because had assembled the wrong mix fertilizer for
Training/Preparation. Although Jason Walters was also subsequently released,
the authorities had confiscated his computer and found chat logs where had
specifically sought out religious sanction for attacks, clearly demonstrating his
During chat September 19, 2003, Walters sought sanction (via friend:
Galas03) from Imam Abdul-Jabbar van Ven for jihad. Abdul-Jabbar was
Dutch convert who was traveling imam. Walters screen-name was Mujaheed:
Mujaheed: you have jabbar
Galas03: will see him today InshaAllah the lesson
Mujaheed: and ask him here allowed slaughter the
unbelievers and/or steal their possessions
Galas03: has said about it, see this way: the government,
ministries, police etc., their blood and possessions halal [we can take],
because they openly declared war the islam, but before you
something you have think twice about what will happen with the islamic
Mujaheed: djazaak Allah. This the fatwa needed. Now can
slaughter every police, minister, soldier, officer etc. And robe [sic] them
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The Result. October 2004, Mohammed Bouyeri had become convinced
his personal obligation jihad himself, acquired his own gun and began
practice shooting. the group began make plans for carrying out some
their grander operations, without warning, the morning November 2004,
before these plans could realized, Bouyeri brutally shot and killed Theo Van
Gogh the streets Amsterdam. This led the arrests the other members the group within days and effectively rolled the leaders the Hofstad
LONDON (July 2005 Attack)
Accepting Jihad/Decision Commit Jihad. For some the 7/7 bombers, the
acceptance their obligation for jihad began July 2003. Travel abroad play