Islamism, Fascism and Terrorism, by Marc Erikson

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Islamism, Fascism and Terrorism, by Marc Erikson

Postby admin » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:28 am

Islamism, Fascism and Terrorism
by Marc Erikson
Asia Times Online
December 5, 2002
©2002 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd.

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Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 1)

[Editor's note: As distinct from the world religion of Islam, Islamism - as in part contextually defined below - is a political ideology that adherents would apply to contemporary governance and politics, and which they propagate through political and social activism.]

On November 7, 2001, on the request of the US government, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office froze the bank accounts of Nada Management, a Lugano-based financial services and consulting firm, and ordered a search and seizure raid on the firm's offices. Police pulled in several of the company's principals for questioning. Nada Management, part of the international al-Taqwa ("fear of God") group, is accused by US Treasury Department investigators of having acted for years as advisers and a funding conduit for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.

Among those interrogated by police was a certain Albert Friedrich Armand (aka Ahmed) Huber, 74, a Swiss convert to Islam and retired journalist who sits on the Nada board of directors. Nothing too unusual perhaps, except for the fact that Huber is also a high-profile neo-Nazi who tirelessly travels the far-right circuit in Europe and the United States. He sees himself as a mediator between radical Islam and what he calls the New Right. Since September 11, a picture of Osama bin Laden hangs next to one of Adolf Hitler on the wall of his study in Muri just outside the Swiss capital of Bern. September 11, says Huber, brought the radical Islam-New Right alliance together.

On that, as his own career amply demonstrates, he is largely wrong. Last year's horrific terrorist acts were gleefully celebrated by Islamists and neo-Nazis alike (Huber boozed it up with young followers in a Bern bar) and may have produced closer links. But Islamism and fascism have a long, over 80-year history of collaboration based on shared ideas, practices and perceived common enemies. They abhor "Western decadence" (political liberalism, capitalism), fight holy wars - if needs be suicidal ones - by indiscriminate means, and are bent on the destruction of the Jews and of America and its allies.

Horst Mahler - once a lawyer for, later a member of, the 1960s/'70s German ultra-left terrorist Baader-Meinhof gang, and now a leading neo-Nazi - summed up convergent radical Islamic and far-right views and hopes in a September 21, 2001 letter: "The USA - or, to be more exact, the World Police - has shown itself to be vulnerable ... The foreseeable reaction of the East Coast [= the Jewish controllers and their gentile allies = the US Establishment] can be the spark that falls into a powder keg. For decades, the jihad - the Holy War - has been the agenda of the Islamic world against the 'Western value system.' This time it could break out in earnest ... It would be world war, that is won with the dagger ... The Anglo-American and European employees of the 'global players,' dispersed throughout the entire world, are - as Osama bin Laden proclaimed a long while ago - military targets. These would be attacked by dagger, where they least expected an attack. Only a few need be liquidated in this manner; the survivors will run off like hares into their respective home countries, where they belong."

Such convergence of views, methods and goals goes back to the 1920s when both Islamism and fascism, ideologically pre-shaped in the late 19th century, emerged as organized political movements with the ultimate aim of seizing state power and imposing their ideological and social policy precepts (in which aims fascism, of course, succeeded in the early '20s and '30s in Italy and Germany, respectively; Islamism only in 1979 in Iran; then in Sudan and Afghanistan). Both movements claim to be the true representatives of some arcane, idealized religious or ethnically pure communities of days long past - in the case of Islamism, the period of the four "righteous caliphs" (632-662), notably the rule of Umar bin al-Khattab (634-44) which allegedly exemplifies "din wa dawla", the unity of religion and state; in the case of the Nazis, the even more obscure Aryan "Volksgemeinschaft", with no historical reference point at all. But both are in reality - as historian Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, puts it - 20th century outgrowths, radical movements, utopian and totalitarian in their outlook. The Iranian scholars Ladan and Roya Boroumand have made the same point.

The Nazi ("national socialist") movement was formed in reaction to the World War I destruction of the "Second Reich", the "unequal and treasonous" Versailles Treaty and the mass social dislocation that followed, its racialist, corporatist ideology laid out in Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle). The Muslim Brotherhood (Al Ikhwan Al Muslimun), parent organization of numerous Islamist terrorist outfits, was formed in 1928 in reaction to the 1924 abolition of the caliphate by Turkish reformer Kemal Ataturk, drawing the consequences of the World War I demise of the Ottoman Empire. Ikhwan founder Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian school teacher, wrote at the time that it was endless contemplation of "the sickness that has reduced the ummah (Muslim community) to its present state" which prompted him and five like-minded followers - all of them in their early twenties - to set up the organization to rectify it.

Fascist Nazi history need not be dwelt on further here. It led to the horrors and destruction of World War II and the Holocaust. Neo-Nazism, whether in Europe or the US, remains a terrorist threat and - as the French Le Pen version demonstrated in parliamentary elections this year - retains a measure of political clout. It is nonetheless a boxed-in niche force with little capability for break-out. Its ideological twin, Islamism, by sharp contrast, has every chance for wreaking escalating world-wide havoc based on its fast-growing influence among the world's more than one billion Muslims. Immediately following September 11 last year, US President George W Bush declared war on terrorism. It's a catchy phrase, but a serious misnomer all the same. Terrorism is a method of warfare, not the enemy. The enemy is Islamism.

Al-Banna's brotherhood, initially limiting itself to spiritual and moral reform, grew at astonishing speed in the 1930s and '40s after embracing wider political goals and by the end of World War II had around 500,000 members in Egypt alone and branches throughout the Middle East. Event background, ideology, and method of organizing all account for its improbable success. As the war drew to a close, the time was ripe for an end to British and French colonial rule and the Ikhwan was ready with the persuasive, religiously-buttressed answer: Free the Islamic homeland from foreign, infidel (kafir) control; establish a unified Islamic state. And al-Banna had built a formidable organization to accomplish just that: it featured sophisticated governance structures, sections in charge of different segments of society (peasants, workers, professionals), units entrusted with key functions (propaganda, press relations, translation, liaison with the Islamic world), and specialized committees for finances and legal affairs - all built on existing social networks, in particular those around mosques and Islamic welfare associations. Weaving of traditional ties into a distinctly modern political structure was at the root of al-Banna's success.

But the "Supreme Guide" of the brethren knew that faith, good works and numbers alone do not a political victory make. Thus, modeled on Mussolini's blackshirts (al-Banna much admired "Il Duce" and soul brother "Fuehrer" Adolf Hitler), he set up a paramilitary wing (slogan: "action, obedience, silence", quite superior to the blackshirts' "believe, obey, fight") and a "secret apparatus" (al-jihaz al-sirri) and intelligence arm of al-Ikhwan to handle the dirtier side - terrorist attacks, assassinations, and so on - of the struggle for power.

In 1948, after the brotherhood had played a pivotal role in mobilizing volunteers to fight in the war against "the Zionists" in Palestine to prevent establishment of a Jewish state, it considered itself to have the credibility, political clout, and military might to launch a coup d'etat against the Egyptian monarchy. But that wasn't to be. On December 8, 1948, a watchful Prime Minister Nuqrashi Pasha disbanded it. He wasn't watchful enough. Less than three weeks later, the brethren retaliated by assassinating the prime minister - in turn prompting the assassination of al-Banna by government agents on February 12, 1949.

That didn't end it. Under a new, more radical leader, Sayyid Qutb, the al-Ikhwan fight for state power continued and escalated. A mid-1960s recruit was Ayman al-Zawahiri, present number two man of al-Qaeda and the brains of the organization.
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Re: Islamism, Fascism and Terrorism, by Marc Erikson

Postby admin » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:29 am

Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2)

Osama bin Laden has the money, proven organizational skills, combat experience, and the charisma that can confer the air of wisdom and profundity even on inchoate or trivial utterances and let what's unfathomable appear to be deep in the eyes of his followers. But he's no intellectual. The brains of al-Qaeda and its chief ideologue by most accounts is Egyptian physician Ayman al-Zawahiri, 51, the organization's number two man and former head of the Egyptian al-Jihad, which was merged with bin Laden's outfit in February 1998 to form the "International Front for Fighting Jews and Crusaders".

Al-Zawahiri hails from an elite Egyptian family. His father was a professor at Cairo University's medical school from which Ayman graduated in 1974. His paternal grandfather was the Grand Imam at the al-Azhar Institute, Sunni Islam's paramount seat of learning. His great-uncle, Abdel-Rahman Azzam, was the first secretary-general of the Arab League.

Such family background notwithstanding, perhaps because of it, al-Zawahiri joined the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) as a young boy and was for the first time arrested in 1966 at age 15, when the secular government of President Gamal Abdel Nasser rounded up thousands of al-Ikhwan members and executed its top leaders in retribution for repeated assassination attempts on the president. One of those executed by hanging was chief ideologue Sayyid Qutb. Al-Zawahiri is Qutb's intellectual heir; he has further developed his message, and is putting it into practise.

But without Qutb, present-day Islamism as a noxious amalgam of fascist totalitarianism and extremes of Islamic fundamentalism would not exist. His principal "accomplishment" was to articulate the social and political practices of the Muslim Brotherhood from the 1930s through the 1950s - including collaboration with fascist regimes and organizations, involvement in anti-colonial, anti-Western and anti-Israeli actions, and the struggle for state power in Egypt - in demagogically persuasive fashion, buttressed by tendentious references to Islamic law and scriptures to deceive the faithful. Qutb, a one-time literary critic, was not a religious fundamentalist, but a Goebbels-style propagandist for a new totalitarianism to stand side-by-side with fascism and communism.

Hitler's early 1933 accession to power in Germany was widely cheered by Arabs of all different political persuasions. When the "Third Reich" spook and horrors were over 12 years later, a favorite excuse among those who felt the need for one was that the Nazis had been allies against the colonial oppressors and "Zionist intruders". Many felt no need for an excuse at all and simply bemoaned the fact that the Nazis' "final solution" to the "Jewish problem" had not proved final enough. But affinities with fascism on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood and other segments of Arab and Muslim society went much deeper than collaboration with the enemy of one's enemies, and collaboration itself took some extreme forms.

Substitute religious for racial purity, the idealized ummah of the rule of the four righteous caliphs of the mid-7th century for the mythical Aryan "Volksgemeinschaft", and most ideological and organizational precepts of Nazism laid out by chief theoretician Alfred Rosenberg in his work The Myth of the 20th Century and by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, and later put into practice, are in all essential respects identical to the precepts of the Muslim Brotherhood after its initial phase as a group promoting spiritual and moral reform. This ranges from radical rejection of "decadent" Western political and economic liberalism (instead embracing the "leadership principle" and corporatist organization of the economy) to endorsement of the use of terror and assassinations to seize and hold state power, and all the way to concoction of fantastical anti-Semitic conspiracy theories linking international plutocratic finance to Freemasonry, Zionism and all-encompassing Jewish world control.

Not surprisingly then, as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and '40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and "supreme guide" Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini - incidentally the later mentor (from 1946 onward) of a young firebrand by the name of Yasser Arafat.

Having fled from Palestine to Iraq, el-Husseini assisted there in the short-lived April 1941 Nazi-inspired and financed anti-British coup. By June 1941, British forces had reasserted control in Baghdad and the mufti was on the run again, this time via Tehran and Rome to Berlin, to a hero's welcome. He remained in Germany as an honored guest and valuable intelligence and propaganda asset through most of the war, met with Hitler on several occasions, and personally recruited leading members of the Bosnian-Muslim "Hanjar" (saber) division of the Waffen SS.

Another valued World War II Nazi collaborator was Youssef Nada, current board chairman of al-Taqwa (Nada Management), the Lugano, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Bahamas-based financial services outfit accused by the US Treasury Department of money laundering for and financing of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda. As a young man, he had joined the armed branch of the "secret apparatus" (al-jihaz al-sirri) of the Muslim Brotherhood and then was recruited by German military intelligence. When Grand Mufti el-Husseini had to flee Germany in 1945 as the Nazi defeat loomed, Nada reportedly was instrumental in arranging the escape via Switzerland back to Egypt and eventually Palestine, where el-Husseini resurfaced in 1946.
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Re: Islamism, Fascism and Terrorism, by Marc Erikson

Postby admin » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:29 am

Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 3)

Islamism, or fascism with an Islamic face, was born with and of the Muslim Brotherhood. It proved (and improved) its fascist core convictions and practices through collaboration with the Nazis in the run-up to and during World War II. It proved it during the same period through its collaboration with the overtly fascist "Young Egypt" (Misr al-Fatah) movement, founded in October 1933 by lawyer Ahmed Hussein and modeled directly on the Hitler party, complete with paramilitary Green Shirts aping the Nazi Brown Shirts, Nazi salute and literal translations of Nazi slogans. Among its members, Young Egypt counted two promising youngsters and later presidents, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El-Sadat.

In later years, the Brotherhood had serious fallings-out with Nasser, whom it attempted to assassinate on several different occasions, and with Sadat, whom it did assassinate in 1981. But up until at least the time of Nasser's 1952 coup d'etat, all was sweetness and light between Hassan al-Banna's brethren and Nasser's "free officers". In his personal diary, Sadat wrote in the summer of 1940:

"One day I invited Hassan al-Banna, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, to the army camp where I served, in the Egyptian Communication Corps, so that he might lecture before my soldiers on various religious topics. A few days before his scheduled appearance it was reported to me from army Intelligence that his coming was forbidden and canceled by the order of General Headquarters, and I myself was summoned for interrogation. After a short while I went secretly to El Bana's office and participated in a few seminars he organized. I like the man and admired him."

Whether al-Banna, who had already been in contact with German agents since the 1936-39 Palestine uprising against the British, or someone else introduced Sadat and his free officer comrades to German military intelligence is not known. But in the summer of 1942, when Rommel's Afrikakorps stood just over 100 kilometers from Alexandria and were poised to march into Cairo, Sadat, Nasser and their buddies were in close touch with the German attacking force and - with Brotherhood help - preparing an anti-British uprising in Egypt's capital. A treaty with Germany including provisions for German recognition of an independent, but pro-Axis Egypt had been drafted by Sadat, guaranteeing that "no British soldier would leave Cairo alive". When Rommel's push east failed at El Alamein in the fall of 1942, Sadat and several of his co-conspirators were arrested by the British and sat out much of the remainder of the war in jail.

Islamist-fascist collaboration did not cease with war's end. King Farouk brought large numbers of German military and intelligence personnel as well as ranking (ex-) Nazis into Egypt as advisors. It was a bad move. Several of the Germans, recognizing Farouk's political weakness, soon began conspiring with Nasser and his free officers (who, in turn, were working closely with the Brotherhood) to overthrow the king. On July 23, 1952, the deed was done and Newsweek marveled that, "The most intriguing aspect [of] the revolt ... was the role played in the coup by the large group of German advisors serving with the Egyptian army ... The young officers who did the actual planning consulted the German advisors as to 'tactics' ... This accounted for the smoothness of the operation."

And yet another player fond of playing all sides against the middle had entered the game prior to Farouk's ouster: In 1951, the CIA's Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of president Teddy, who in 1953 would organize the overthrow of elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh and install Reza Pahlavi as Shah) opened secret negotiations with Nasser. Agreement was soon reached that the US, post-coup, would assist in building up Egypt's intelligence and security forces - in the obvious manner, by reinforcing Nasser's existing Germans with additional, "more capable", ones. For that, CIA head Allen Dulles turned to Reinhard Gehlen, one-time head of eastern front German military intelligence and by the early 1950s in charge of developing a new German foreign intelligence service. Gehlen hired the best man he knew for the job - former SS colonel Otto Skorzeny, who at the end of the war had organized the infamous ODESSA network to facilitate the escape of high-ranking Nazis to Latin America (mainly Peron's Argentina) and Egypt. With Skorzeny now on the job of assisting Nasser, Egypt became a safe haven for Nazi war criminals galore. The CIA officer in charge of the Egypt assistance program was Miles Copeland, soon a Nasser intimate.

And then things got truly complicated and messy. Having played a large role in Nasser's power grab, the Muslim Brotherhood, after the 1949 assassination of Hassan al-Banna by government agents [see part 1] under new leadership and (since 1951) under the radical ideological guidance of Sayyid Qutb, demanded its due - imposition of Sharia (Islamic religious) law. When Nasser demurred, he became a Brotherhood assassination target, but with CIA and the German mercenaries' help he prevailed. In February 1954, the Brotherhood was banned. An October 1954 assassination attempt failed. Four thousand brothers were arrested, six were executed, and thousands fled to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon.

Within short order, things got more tangled still: As Nasser in his brewing fight with Britain and France over control of the Suez Canal turned to the Soviet Union for assistance and arms purchases, the CIA approached and began collaboration with the Brotherhood against their ex-ally, the now pro-Soviet Nasser.

We leave that twisted tale at this stage. A leading Brotherhood member arrested in 1954 was Sayyid Qutb. He spent the next 10 years in Jarah prison near Cairo and there wrote the tracts that subsequently became (and till this day remain) must-reading and guidance for Islamists everywhere. (The main translations into Farsi were made by the Rahbar of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.) But while brother number one went to jail, other leading members who had escaped were given jobs in Saudi universities and provided with royal funding. They included Sayyid's brother Muhammad and Abdullah al-Azzam, the radical Palestinian preacher (the "Emir of Jihad") who later in Peshawar, Pakistan, founded the Maktab al-Khidamat, or Office of Services, which became the core of the al-Qaeda network. As a student at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Osama bin Laden, son of Muhammad bin Laden, the kingdom's wealthiest contractor and close friend of King Faisal, became a disciple of Muhammad Qutb and al-Azzam.

Sayyid Qutb was born in 1906 in a small village in Upper Egypt, was educated at a secular college, and subsequently worked as an inspector of schools for the ministry of education. In the 1930s and 1940s, nothing pointed to his later role. He wrote literary criticism, hung out in coffee houses, and published a novel which flopped. His conversion to radical Islam came during two-and-a-half years of graduate studies in education in the United States (1948-51). He came to hate everything American, described churches as "entertainment centers and sexual playgrounds", was shocked by the freedom allowed to women, and immediately upon his return to Egypt joined the Muslim Brotherhood and assumed the position of editor-in-chief of the organization's newspaper.

While in jail, Qutb wrote a 30-volume (!) commentary on the Koran; but his most influential book, published in 1965 after his 1964 release from prison for health reasons, was Ma'alim fi'l-tariq ("Signposts on the Road", also translated as "Milestones"). In it, he revised Hassan al-Banna's concept of establishing an Islamic state in Egypt after the nation was thoroughly Islamized, advocating instead - fascist or Bolshevik-style - that a revolutionary vanguard should first seize state power and then impose Islamization from above. Trouble is, this recipe went against the unambiguous Muslim prohibition against overthrowing a Muslim ruler.

Qutb found his clue to resolving the dilemma in the writings of his Pakistani contemporary, Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi (1903-79), founder in 1941 of the Jamaat-i-Islami, who had denounced the existing political order in Muslim societies as partial jahiliyyah - resembling the state of unenlightened savagery, ignorance and idolatry of pre-Islamic Arab societies. There was nothing "partial" about the jahiliyyah of the existing order, nothing that could be redeemed, pronounced Qutb: "... a society whose legislation does not rest on divine law ... is not Muslim, however ardently its individuals may proclaim themselves Muslim, even if they pray, fast and make the pilgrimage ... jahiliyyah ... takes the form of claiming the right to create values, to legislate rules of collective behavior and to choose any way of life that rests with me, without regard to what God has prescribed."

Only uncompromising restoration of the ideal of the union of religion and state as evidenced during the 7th century reign of the "righteous caliphs" would do. Islam was a complete system of life not in need of man-made additions. Any ruler, Muslim or otherwise, standing in the way could be justifiably removed - by any means.

This, naturally, applied to Nasser, and another attempt on his life was made in 1965. Qutb was rearrested, tortured and tried for treason. On August 29, 1966, he was hanged. The charge against him of plotting to establish a Marxist regime in Egypt was ludicrous. Nasser and his minions knew full well that the real danger to the regime stemmed from Qutb's denunciation of it as jahiliyyah, and not from those clauses of his Ma'alim fi'l-tariq which speak of a classless society in which the "selfish individual" and the "exploitation of man by man" would be abolished, which the prosecution cited as evidence against him.

The martyred Qutb's writings rapidly acquired wide acceptance in the Arab world, especially after the ignominious defeat of the Arabs in the June 1967 "Six Day War" with Israel, taken as proof of the depth of depravity to which the regimes in the Muslim realm had sunk.
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Re: Islamism, Fascism and Terrorism, by Marc Erikson

Postby admin » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:30 am

Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 4)

An early convert to Sayyid Qutb's new-fangled fascist Islamism which condones, indeed commands, terrorism and murder was the alleged number two man of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. [see part 2]. Having joined the Muslim Brotherhood at age 15, he was caught in the Nasser dragnet after the 1965 assassination attempt on the Egyptian leader and - young age and elite family background notwithstanding - was thrown in jail. An April 1968 amnesty freed most of the brethren, and Ayman, in that regard following in his father's footsteps, went on to Cairo University to become a physician. He obtained his degree in 1974 and practiced medicine for several years.

His profession, however, was not his calling. By the late 1970s, he was back full-time in the Islamist revolution business agitating against the Egypt-Israel peace treaty (concluded in 1979). In 1980, on the introduction by military intelligence officer Abbud al-Zumar, he became a leading member of the Jama'at al-Jihad of Muhammad Abd-al-Salam Faraj which on October 6, 1981, assassinated President Anwar El Sadat while he was reviewing a military parade.

Faraj, like al-Zawahiri, had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but became disenchanted with its passivity. In 1979, he penned a short pamphlet titled "The Neglected Obligation" (al-Farida al-Gha'ibah), which relied heavily on the ideas of Sayyid Qutb. It became the founding document of al-Jihad, arguing along the familiar lines that acceptance of a government was only possible and legitimate when that government fully implemented Sharia, or Islamic law. Contemporary Egypt had not done so, and was thus suffering from jahiliyya. Jihad to rectify this, wrote Faraj, was not only the "neglected obligation" of Muslims, but in fact their most important duty.

Following the Sadat assassination, al-Zawahiri was arrested on a minor weapons possession charge and spent three years in jail. In 1985 he left Egypt for Saudi Arabia and later Peshawar, Pakistan, where he was joined by Muhammad al-Islambuli, the brother of one of Sadat's five assassins, 24-year-old artillery lieutenant Khalid Ahmed Shawki al-Islambuli. There, connections were made with the groups of Palestinian Islamist Abdullah Azzam and the latter's one-time student Osama bin Laden, by then fully engaged (with well-known CIA support) in assisting the mujahideen struggle against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Al-Zawahiri's al-Jihad was in many respects better organized and better trained than other groups in the Afghanistan theater. Prior to the murder of Sadat, it had succeeded in recruiting members of the presidential guard, military intelligence and the civil bureaucracy. Most importantly, it was in possession of a cogent and comprehensive ideology pointing beyond the Afghan struggle against the Soviet occupiers. "Afghanistan should be a platform for the liberation of the entire Muslim world," was the distinguishing creed of al-Jihad.

Al-Zawahiri wrote several books on Islamic movements, the best known of which is The Bitter Harvest (1991/92), a critical assessment of the failings of the Muslim Brotherhood. In it, he draws not only on the writings of Sayyid Qutb to justify murder and terrorism, but prominently references Pakistani Jamaat-i-Islami founder and ideologue Mawdudi on the global mission of Islamic jihad.

Mawdudi had written, "Islam wants the whole earth and does not content itself with only a part thereof. It wants and requires the entire inhabited world. It does not want this in order that one nation dominates the earth and monopolizes its sources of wealth, after having taken them away from one or more other nations. No, Islam wants and requires the earth in order that the human race altogether can enjoy the concept and practical program of human happiness, by means of which God has honored Islam and put it above the other religions and laws. In order to realize this lofty desire, Islam wants to employ all forces and means that can be employed for bringing about a universal all-embracing revolution. It will spare no effort for the achievement of this supreme objective. This far-reaching struggle that continuously exhausts all forces and this employment of all possible means are called jihad."

And further, "Islam is a revolutionary doctrine and system that overturns governments. It seeks to overturn the whole universal social order ... and establish its structure anew ... Islam seeks the world. It is not satisfied by a piece of land but demands the whole universe ... Islamic jihad is at the same time offensive and defensive ... The Islamic party does not hesitate to utilize the means of war to implement its goal."

Not just or even principally the expulsion of the Soviets from Afghanistan or the removal of any one godless Muslim regime, but global jihad as Mawdudi had prescribed, became al-Zawahiri's obsession. And he acted as he had read and written. After several years in Afghanistan and Pakistan, constructing there the platform from which to launch broader pursuits, Zawahiri traveled extensively on Swiss, French and Dutch passports in Western Europe and even the United States on fund-raising, recruiting and reconnaissance missions. Then came initial implementation of the offensive.

It is not known whether he had a hand in the 1993 bombing of the New York World Trade Center. But he had close connections to Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the spiritual leader of the group that carried out the attack. Then, in 1995, he was behind the truck bomb attack on the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan; in November 1997, he led the Vanguards of Conquest group responsible for the Luxor (Egypt) massacre in which 60 foreign tourists were systematically murdered and mutilated; in August 1998, he organized the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and probably, in 2000, the speed-boat bomb attack on the USS Cole in Aden. Israeli intelligence considers him the "operational brains" behind September 11; the fact, in any case, is that the Egyptian Mohammed Atta, principal of the Hamburg, Germany, al-Qaeda cell that was instrumental to the World Trade Center destruction, was a member of Zawahiri's al-Jihad.

Osama bin Laden, as we wrote earlier, had the money, some of the connections, and perhaps the charisma to function as the leader of the al-Qaeda global jihad. But it was not until Zawahiri's al-Jihad in February 1998 formally joined forces with bin Laden that the present global Islamist terrorist threat truly emerged. With his long experience in the Muslim Brotherhood, his critical assessment of its failures, his cunning - albeit highly eclectic - fashioning of a fascist ideology drawing on Islamic religious elements, and his organizational and operational skills, al-Zawahiri is the key personality of global jihad. The key point to understand is that Zawahiri fascist Islamism has seized the ideological initiative in the Muslim world against which traditional Islam has so far proved an impotent, indeed often unwilling, opponent. Young Muslims everywhere are captivated by Zawahiri Islamism and jihad to which they attribute selfless idealism and in which they admire ruthless determination. It will be a long war.

And make no mistake: In this war against a new, ideologically vigorous fascism, collateral assets of the Islamists, the neo-Nazis of the Ahmed Huber variety which we described in part 1 of this series, or - for that matter - Saudi financiers wittingly pushing narrow sectarian Wahhabism upon youths in madrassas worldwide, are key forces in the enemy camp. Islamism as we have portrayed it in its historical and present dimension is a form of fascist madness - the same type of madness which one of Hitler's closest confidants, convicted war criminal Albert Speer, saw during the Fuehrer's final days. In his Spandau prison diary entry for November 18, 1947, Speer recollects:

"I recall how [Hitler] would have films shown in the Reich Chancellory about London burning, about the sea of fire over Warsaw, about exploding convoys, and the kind of ravenous joy that would then seize him every time. But I never saw him so beside himself as when, in a delirium, he pictured New York going down in flames. He described how the skyscrapers would be transformed into gigantic burning torches, how they would collapse in confusion, how the bursting city's reflection would stand against the dark sky."
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