Accession Number:

ADA488031

Title:

The Late Sheikh Abdullah Azzam's Books. Part 1: Strategic Leverage of the Soviet-Afghan War to Undertake Perpetual Jihad

Descriptive Note:

Essay

Corporate Author:

MILITARY ACADEMY WEST POINT NY COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2008-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

11.0

Abstract:

Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, more than any other cleric, is considered the strategic founder of al-Qaida. His calling to establish an al-Qaida al-Sulba firm foundation to export jihad where Muslims are being persecuted is the name Bin Laden finally chose when naming his organization al-Qaida. To understand Bin Laden and those who harbor sympathies toward al-Qaida it is vital to rediscover Azzams books. Part I of this series will look into a book published in 1984, which by 1988 had gone through its 11th printing. Azzams Quranic interpretations of the Soviet-Afghan War and his mythologizing and marketing of this conflict was a means to attract more Arabs to join the fight. The book is entitled Ayyat al-Rahman fee Jihad al-Afghan Gods Signs in the Afghan Jihad. Part II of the series will explore a book on Azzams views regarding the remedy for Muslim victimization. Part III will look at Azzams history and his theories of what needed to be done to defend Muslim lands that were under assault. Reading Azzam represents the cutting edge towards understanding a sworn enemy of the United States. It is incumbent upon American military planners to immerse themselves in the ideology, mythology, language, and strategy of Islamist militant groups. Azzam is as significant strategically to al-Qaida and its affiliates as Carl von Clausewitz is to the study of conventional warfare. Azzam founded Maktab al-Khidmat Services Office for Arab Jihadists, an organization dedicated to organizing Arab jihadists fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. He also was a mentor to Usama Bin Laden. Azzam was killed in a massive bombing of his car in the streets of Peshawar, Pakistan, in November 1989. The assassination of Azzam remains a subject of speculation and remains unsolved. The copy of Azzams Ayyat al-Rahman fee Jihad al Afghan used in the crafting of this essay was published in 1988 by Dar-al-Mujtama Publishers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Psychology
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE