Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America

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Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America is a book by Middle East expert and scholar Walid Phares.

In this book Walid Phares presents his analysis of the Jihadist movement and the strategies it employs in its war against America and Western governments.

Defining Jihad

In the Arab world, the author points out, the definition of the word Jihad (literally: struggle) is clear and unequivocal. It means a call to action on behalf of Islamic hegemony. The concept of Jihad is often defined to western audiences as simply a personal inner struggle or as a morally justified call to Muslims for the defense of their faith, but historically, Jihad has overwhelmingly been used in the sense of a call for violent military aggression against non-believers for the expansion of Islam.[1]

In the Western world, the author notes, many high-profile academics , journalists and activists are actively engaged in Public Relations and linguistical campaigns to convince audiences of a benign character of Jihad. But according to Phares, this a clear misrepresentation of the actual intent of the Jihadist movement.

Jihad is not benign, and the West’s denial of that fact was terribly ironic. By instinct and as a result of my personal and professional background, I realized the enormity of what was happening: The United States was paving the way for its own defeat, by blurring its vision, confusing its mind, and moderating its reactions to the early danger signs, not to mention the terrorist strikes to come...."[2]

Background of the Jihadist movement

Future Jihad begins by pointing out that in the post 9/11 world the question that one should be asking is not "Why do they hate us?" but rather who are the they in that question. The they, in the question, is identified by the author as the militant branches of modern-day Islam, the radical Islamic Salafis and Wahhabis who draw their ideological roots from the 12th century Islamic ideologue Ibn Taymiyyah and Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, the 18th century founder of Wahhabism in Arabia. Phares notes that these movements have been active long before the cold war and they are not modern day responses to US foreign policy. These radical Islamic movements are carrying out their long term strategic plans aimed at bringing about an Islamic fundamentalist domination of the world. A third Jihadist group that has emerged in the later part of the 20th century, is the Shiite "khumaini" fundamentalists who draw their ideological roots from Ayatollah Khomeini and who are active in the Islamic Republic of Iran and associated groups such as Hezbullah and other Iraqi groups.[3]

Objectives of the Jihadists

The Jihadists are seeking to reverse what they conceive to be the demise of the Islamic state at the hands of the non-Muslims which began in the late Middle Ages and to establish Islamic hegemony over the world through conquest (Fatah). They attribute their defeat to having strayed from the purist rendition of Islamic ideology that they believe existed at the peak of Islamic conquest. Thus the remedy, in their eyes, is a return to the puristic, albeit, intolerant Islam.

The objectives of the Jihadists can thus be summarized into 3 steps:

  1. Liberation (Tahrir) of all land that fell at any time to Islamic conquest and which was at one time included in the Caliphate but which have since reverted to the control of its non-Muslims inhabitants. These territories include, Kashmir, Chechnya, Spain , Israel, Bosnia and all territory that was ever under the dominion of Islam throughout history.
  2. Unification (Tawheed): The dismantling of all the Greater Middle East Arab nation state entities and borders and the unification of that territory under one common Islamic superstate.
  3. Re-establishment of the Caliphate Khilafa and resumption of the external Jihad of conquest (Fatah) against the non-Muslim world Dar al-Harb.

Methodology of the Jihadists

The methodology of the Jihadists to achieve conquest (Fatah) is divided into 2 phases, the first is the Jihad which is waged when there is a tactical advantage on the side of the Islamists. When the advantage goes to their opponents, the Jihadists adopt a momentary peace, called Sulh. Sulh is characterized by offered treaties and peace agreements and is implemented in order to give weak Islamic forces time to regroup and restrengthen. When the Islamist forces are strong enough then Sulh is abandoned and Jihad is resumed.

US blindness to the Jihadist movement

Since the early 90s, the US government has demonstrably been unaware that a war is being waged against it. Government analysts and diplomats appear to be blind and unresponsive to evidence of Jihadist activity that takes place right in front them. Phares posits that the reason for this is because they are collectively being mis-educated in the history, ideology, literature and intentions of the Jihadist movement. The author further explains that the reason for this is because Middle Eastern studies in US Academia has been effectively co-opted by the Wahabbi lobby by infusions of large amounts of money to educational institutions to put in place a pro-Wahabbi and pro-Islamic curriculum targeting the students who will become the future analysts and diplomats of the US government. This includes injecting a legion of Wahhabi funded academics like Edward Said, John Esposito and numerous others that are used by Islamic activists to refute criticism of the Jihadist ideology and to discredit those authors who provide useful analysis in the middle eastern studies.

Views towards the Jewish State of Israel

To the Jihadists, the existence of the Jewish State of Israel provides a clear refutation to the concept of the supremacy of Allah on Earth. Thus, the re-establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in 1947 was a tremendous set back for the Jihadists. This was followed by another blow to the Jihadist psyche, the recognition by the United Nations of the state of Israel. Finally the 1967 victories of Israel over the secular Arab armies brought the Jihadist movement to a very low point. These events along with the many historical defeats suffered by the Caliphate since the late Middle Ages, re-inforced the notion that those who had wavered from the strictest and purist forms of Islam would not be able to achieve victory over the non-Muslim world.

In their eyes it is inconceivable that Jews would come to have self-determination and control of Jewish land, as the only acceptable condition for Jews in the eyes of Islamists is that of a subservient dhimmis under the domination of Islam.

Strategies against America

The author lists 6 areas being targeted by the Jihadist movement against the US.

  1. Economic jihad or oil as a weapon
  2. Ideological jihad through the co-optation of the entire U.S. Middle Eastern studies establishment funded by the Saudis
  3. Political jihad or mollification of the public
  4. Intelligence jihad, infiltrating not just American neighborhoods but providing the translators and interpreters that the FBI and CIA and DIA rely on
  5. Subversive jihad within the country, using groups like CAIR which they fund and the ACLU to silence and disable critics.
  6. Diplomatic jihad, controlling U.S. foreign policy and in particular using Saudi influence to dissuade the administrations from taking action against Wahabbi interests.

What will defeat the Jihadists

The author discusses several anti-Jihadist strategies.

By propping up dictatorships in the Muslim world, the US government has unwittingly done the Jihadist's bidding for them. This occurred because the dictatorship we so propped up effectively eradicated all opposition which could provide an alternative choice to the Jihadist movement. To effectively make the Jihadist movement redundant we would need to reverse the process we have had in place so that civil societies in the Muslim world are not continuously being destroyed or eradicated.

The historical re-establishment of the State of Israel and its perception by the Jihadi movement provides an indication as to what would constitute defeat in the Jihadists'eyes: the de-islamization of territory. Thus the establishment of free, multi-culturalist societies in the Middle East is the surest way of defeating the Jihadist movements.


See also

External links


  1. Future Jihad Walid Phares, chapter 1 The Historical Roots of Jihad
  2. Walid Phares, Future Jihad, pp. 18
  3. Future Jihad Walid Phares, chapter 2 Who Are the Jihadists?

Further reading