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Jihadi Strategic Studies: The Alleged Al Qaida Policy Study Preceding the Madrid Bombings

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This article analyzes an Al Qaida strategy document about Iraq that received considerable attention after the Madrid bombings because of its references to the Spanish elections. The current article discusses the origin, content, and significance of the document and argues that it represents a hitherto unidentified genre in radical Islamist literature, namely "jihadi strategic studies." The text, which is secular in style, analytical in its approach, and pragmatic in its conclusions, displays a level of political awareness that breaks with most preconceptions about religious fundamentalist thought. Moreover, it dispels the myth of a unified and coherent "Al Qaida ideology."
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Transnational Radical Islamism Project, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, Kjeller, Norway

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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