Qaeda Leaders Losing Sway Over Militants, Study Finds – New York Times
“The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint,” concluded a National Intelligence Estimate on global terrorism completed this year.
The report found that radical Islam, sometimes called Salafism, is so deeply embedded in the Arab world that Salafis now constitute a “majority or significant portion” of the Muslim population in the Middle East and North Africa.
The study found that the scholarly work of a group of Saudi and Jordanian clerics — most notably Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, (photo) a Jordanian — seems more likely to influence the next generation of Islamic militants.
“Western governments have neither the local credibility nor the cultural expertise necessary to diminish the popularity of Salafism,” the study found.
The report said most Salafis are not jihadis who are committed to violence, and some outside experts said the spread of radical ideology in cyberspace could lead to opportunities for Western efforts to exploit divisions within the movement.
The very Internet, which was developed to help us to survive a Cold War nuclear attack, is now the platform-of-choice for waging this new global Holy War against us.