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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
 

The Boy Who Cried 'Lone Wolf'

I had two recent pieces on "Jihad Joes" in Foreign Policy:

THE BOY WHO CRIED 'LONE WOLF'

Friday's arrest of a would-be suicide bomber in Washington, D.C. led to a fresh paroxysm of analysis in the media on the ominous threat of lone wolf terrorism on U.S. soil.

The problem is that Amine El-Khalifi wasn't alone. He was in contact with men he believed were part of Al Qaeda, and those men handed him a complete (but inert) suicide vest and an automatic weapon to carry out his attack. The fact those men were FBI undercover agents is beside the point. If someone claiming to work for Al Qaeda hands you a fully assembled bomb for your attack, you're not a lone wolf.

Read more by J.M. Berger at Foreign Policy

AL QAEDA'S YOUNG AMERICANS


Al Shabab supporters rally in Mogadishu to celebrate merger with Al Qaeda

Hundreds of Somalis gathered on the outskirts of Mogadishu on Feb. 13 to celebrate the union of al Qaeda with its Somali cousin, the insurgent-terrorist group al-Shabab. But the mainstream media hasn't quite figured out what to make of the news, first announced last week, that the two groups had officially merged.

Many reporters were already accustomed to thinking of them as the same group. Others grasped at straws to fit the news into the "al Qaeda is losing" narrative -- dominant ever since Osama bin Laden was killed last May.

They might have done better with a simple headline: "Dozens of Americans Join al Qaeda."

Read more by J.M. Berger at Foreign Policy

For more about American jihadists, check out J.M. Berger's new book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, on sale everywhere.

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BOOKS

"...smart, granular analysis..."

ISIS: The State of Terror
"Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger's new book, "ISIS," should be required reading for every politician and policymaker... Their smart, granular analysis is a bracing antidote to both facile dismissals and wild exaggerations... a nuanced and readable account of the ideological and organizational origins of the group." -- Washington Post

More on ISIS: The State of Terror

"...a timely warning..."

Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam:
"At a time when some politicians and pundits blur the line between Islam and terrorism, Berger, who knows this subject far better than the demagogues, sharply cautions against vilifying Muslim Americans. ... It is a timely warning from an expert who has not lost his perspective." -- New York Times

More on Jihad Joe

ABOUT

INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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