Archive for the ‘News of interest’ Category

My first book…The Arabs at War in Afghanistan

11/06/2014 2 comments

For those of you interested…my first book, co-authored with Mustafa Hamid, is finally edging towards its release in the US and UK!!!

What is it about you ask? Well this is the book’s description on the publisher’s website:

A former senior mujahidin figure and an ex-counter-terrorism analyst cooperating to write a book on the history and legacy of Arab-Afghan fighters in Afghanistan is a remarkable and improbable undertaking. Yet this is what Mustafa Hamid, aka Abu Walid al-Masri, and Leah Farrall have achieved with the publication of their ground-breaking work.

The result of thousands of hours of discussions over several years, The Arabs at War in Afghanistan offers significant new insights into the history of many of today’s militant Salafi groups and movements. By revealing the real origins of the Taliban and al-Qaeda and the jostling among the various jihadi groups, this account not only challenges conventional wisdom, but also raises uncomfortable questions as to how events from this important period have been so badly misconstrued.


It’s been an amazing few years and if someone had ever told either of us when we started our online debate nearly five years ago we’d end up co-authoring a book together, we would have probably had a rare moment of agreement when reaching the conclusion they were crazy. Yet, here we are. The book is done and the first pre-publication reviews are out.

You can find them over at the Hurst Website. The book is being published by Hurst in the UK and Oxford University Press in the US.

If you are interested in getting a review copy please send me an email or contact Hurst directly at the contact details on their website.

For those interested in an Arabic summary of the book, you can find one written by Mustafa here (on the book’s website, which we still need to update a little once I finish my teaching admin next week).

Sydney Opera House in Inspire Magazine…

07/20/2011 4 comments

This picture caught my interest for rather obvious reasons, unless I’m seeing things.

The picture is from the newest issue of Inspire Magazine.  For those overseas, it is of  the Sydney Opera House and Inspire Magazine is a publication linked to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula–although it’s not formally sanctioned & recognised product.  It’s also run by some folks who very much like to see their own name in lights and feed off the hype the magazine creates, which really isn’t very jihadi-like, but I digress.

I didn’t blog on this yesterday when I saw it, lest I contribute to the hype. So, I’m just noting it this morning as something of interest because I haven’t seen that much from these circles about Australia– at least recently. I have, however, been out of the loop so may have missed it.

I don’t think it is any sort of hidden message or marker; although not being privy to intel on the extent and scope of links  I would never fully rule it out. I do, however, think it is probably more a case that the picture was put there to see what type of reaction it generated. Or maybe just because it looked pretty.

Anyway, I found it interesting.

Thanks to Chris for sending me a heads up the mag was out. Much appreciated (-:

Categories: AQAP, News of interest

Mullah Krekar interview released

06/12/2011 Leave a comment

This is interesting. I’ve been very much out of the loop in relation to this gent, so I may have missed other released materials, but I don’t recollect hearing anything of him recently. For those not aware, he was the founder of  Ansar al-Islam.

You can find it here

Categories: News of interest

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi’s brother (re?)joins the jihad

06/12/2011 1 comment

Salah al-Din, reportedly, a brother of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi ( a senior jihadi ideologue)  has up and (re?) joined the jihad. Runs in the family, it seems.  Source below pics.

Categories: News of interest

The role of frustrated ambitions in driving plotting for homeland attacks

05/06/2011 1 comment

This jumped out at me in relation to the recent bombings in Morocco.

“The individuals were absorbed by jihadist ideology, and had allegiance to al Qaeda and had already made several attempts to join some of the hotbeds of tension, especially Chechnya and Iraq, before deciding to carry out terror in the homeland,” the ministry statement said, according to MAP.

Time and time and time and time again you see this. Frustrated ambitions to go and fight and when this doesn’t materialise turning the focus inward. It’s a big problem for several reasons. First, if you do as we do here, and take away people’s right to travel if this intention is known, you cause this process to accelerate and then need to dedicate more resources to monitoring those folks.  Second, leaving it go, and not actively intercepting runs the risk of volunteers being diverted by groups they come into contact with, which is how AQ gets most of its recruits for external operations.  It’s a big headache for those in CT and not likely to change anytime soon.

Clarifying the reported Egyptian Islamic Jihad statement

02/07/2011 Leave a comment

I tweeted when news came to light of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) statement about events in Egypt that this was not an al Qaeda (AQ)  related statement, nor was it related to Ayman al-Zawahiri.  Aaron, over at Jihadology has the statement and some commentary, which you can find here.

While you’ll find several articles trying to make a link with Ayman al-Zawahiri or AQ,  this is inaccurate.

The statement was released by  Tharwat Salah Shehata under the name of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He, along with a handful of others, refused to join al Qaeda when Ayman al-Zawahiri ostensibly ‘merged’ the EIJ with AQ in the summer of 2001.  What happened when al-Zawahiri pushed forward with the merger was that the EIJ splintered.

This statement is  from one of those EIJ  members who split with al-Zawahiri and refused to join al Qaeda in early-mid 2001. And just for the record, there’s only a handful of them, lest anyone start with the threat narratives.

Categories: News of interest

Counterterrorism Squad Densus 88 Now Its Own Police Unit | The Jakarta Globe

09/16/2010 Leave a comment

Good move on the part of INP. I’m a big fan of Brig. Gen. Tito Karnavian.

Counterterrorism Squad Densus 88 Now Its Own Police Unit | The Jakarta Globe.

Categories: News of interest