Perceptions of the “Arab Spring” Within the Salafi-Jihadi Movement
Abstract:This article provides a detailed examination of how the Salafi-Jihadi movement perceives the “Arab Spring” revolutionary events. Although Western scholars almost unanimously agree that these events will have an enormous impact on Al Qaeda and other groups that share its ideology, the voice of the jihadis has not been examined in detail. This article addresses this critical gap in the literature through an analysis of 101 significant documents produced by jihadi thinkers within a year following the movement's very first statement on the uprising in Tunisia. These include statements released by jihadi spokesmen, interviews with the movement's intellectual leaders, and discussions on jihadi Web forums. The article concludes that Al Qaeda and the jihadi movement largely believe that the uprisings provide them a great deal of new opportunities, and outlines the movement's developing strategy to capitalize on rapidly changing events on the ground.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Washington,DC, USA
Publication date: 2012-12-01