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Adversary / Threat One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Talk about (or with?) them.

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Old 03-18-2006   #1
Jedburgh
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Default RAND Voices of Jihad Database

RAND Voices of Jihad Database
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This online database is a compilation of speeches, interviews, statements, and publications of jihadist leaders, foot soldiers, and sympathizers. Nearly all content is in English translation, and has been collected from publicly-accessible websites. Original links are provided, along with excerpts and full-text content when available.

The voices of jihad are numerous, varied, and constantly evolving. Jihadists often disagree on goals, tactics, and worldview; they may also change their message depending on the intended audience. The database content reveals several aspects of what might be termed a jihadist ideology, including:

Worldview (e.g., on democracy, the role of women, and global institutions)
Grievances (e.g., on the West or secular Arab regimes)
Justification of Terror and Violence
Exhortations and Calls to Jihad
Problems and Disagreements
Strategy and Tactics
Content is indexed by date, author, affiliated group, online source, and keyword.

This effort extends RAND's 30-year involvement in the study of terrorism. RAND began exploring this problem in the wake of the murder of Olympic athletes in Munich and has carried on this research without interruption since 1972. Indeed, RAND remains dedicated to an investigation of the origins, development, and implications of terrorism for policy officials, the private sector, and first responders. By compiling the Voices of Jihad Database and making it available to the public, RAND hopes to enhance counterterrorism analysis, policymaking, and response.
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Old 05-08-2006   #2
Jedburgh
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Default The Use of the Internet by Islamic Extremists

Prepared testimony of Bruce Hoffman of RAND to the House Select Committee on Intelligence on 4 May: The Use of the Internet by Islamic Extremists
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...The insurgency in Iraq has arguably emerged as the cynosure of contemporary, cutting-edge terrorist communications. According to analysts at the Alexandria, Virginia-based IntelCenter, more than a dozen terrorist groups, for instance, have produced their own videos. At least half, however, are either indigenous Iraqi insurgent organizations or foreign jihadis fighting there. Since late 2003, a growing number of so-called “mujahideen films,” have been marketed for sale (mostly in DVD format) at souks and bazaars in Iraq and posted either in part or in whole on the Internet. The films variously:

�� depict scenes of insurgents using roadside bombs to ambush U.S. military forces on patrol in Humvees or firing hand-held surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) at U.S. military aircraft flying overhead;

�� impart practical, tactical advice to insurgents (for example: advising insurgents ‘to vacate the area no later than 10 minutes after launching an attack, before US forces zero in on their position’) and instruction in the use of weaponry and the planning and execution of attacks;

�� transmit the last words of kidnapped Iraqis and foreigners about to be executed and, in many instances, display gory footage of the executions themselves;

�� appeal for financial contributions; and,

�� perhaps most importantly solicit recruits from the Middle East, South and Central Asia, North Africa, and Europe and even North America to come to Iraq to become “lions from the martyr’s brigade.”

These “mujahideen films,” however, are but one manifestation of a much broader and highly sophisticated communications strategy. The more prominent insurgent organizations fighting in Iraq, for instance, have themselves established dedicated information offices which in essence
function as “online press agencies”: issuing communiqués, developing and posting new content for their websites (often several times a day) and generally updating and regularly replenishing news and other features. “The Iraqi armed opposition appear to make a priority of communication,” two particularly knowledgeable observers of the insurgency in that country have
written, in ways that go far beyond the unique intention of terrorizing the adversary.

Combatant groups produce an astonishingly large and varied range of texts and images, which it would be wrong to reduce to their most brutal types. Besides the threatening tracts there is an impressive body of strategic analysis, cold-blooded, lucid and detailed. Similarly, the most monstrous video sequences eclipse a wealth of films, sometimes of professional quality, extending from "lectures" in classical Arabic on the manufacture of explosives to “advertising” material put out by new groups making their first public appearance.

The insurgents’ intent is to explain and legitimize their use of violence (employing theological arguments and treatises, for example, to differentiate between “illicit terrorism” and “licit terrorism” and thereby justify their attacks); drive a wedge between the Iraqi people and the so-called “collaboration” authorities (e.g., the Iraqi interim government); undermine popular confidence in the ability of the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces and the U.S. and Coalition militaries to maintain order throughout the country; and, lastly, to facilitate communications between and among various groups in order to forge new alliances and cooperative arrangements however tactical or short-lived...
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