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Jihadi Discourse in the Wake of the Arab Spring

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This report analyzes jihadi discourse in the wake of the Arab Spring to address two related questions 1 Why have global jihadi leaders been struggling to advance a coherent and effective response to the events of the Arab Spring and 2 Why, despite strong rhetoric of militancy, have we witnessed little action on the part of new jihadi groups that have emerged in countries that underwent regime change i.e., Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya as a result of the Arab Spring To answer these questions, this study focuses on original Arabic sources in the form of public statements released by global jihadi leaders in response to the Arab Spring and by new groups projecting a jihadi worldview that have emerged in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Regional jihadi groups that were established prior to the Arab Spring are not the focus of this study. While Syria has not undergone a regime change, the proliferation of militant groups there, some of which fight under a jihadi banner, necessitates discussing it in the context of jihadi relevance in the wake of the Arab Spring. Thus, the concluding chapter of the report tackles the following question Does the violent conflict in Syria restore credibility in the jihadis motto that jihad is the only solution More precisely, does Syria give back to the jihadi narrative what Tunisia, Egypt, and to some extent Libya had taken away The study reveals that global jihadi leaders are struggling to define clearly and consistently their ideological framework in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. More precisely, the factors that are causing the current ideological incoherence of jihadism are the same factors that had once served as the cornerstone of its plausibility in the eyes of its adherents.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Psychology
  • Unconventional Warfare

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