Bin Laden's New Butchers

(The Australian) Martin Chulov - Al-Qaeda's strength now lies in the affiliates it has inspired - some directly and others in its name. Among this conglomerate are four people almost certain to shape the future of Global Jihad Inc.: Sheikh Abu Muhammed al-Maqdesi, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Sheikh Ahmad al-Zahrani, and Sheikh Abu Omar Seyf. Al-Maqdesi is a Palestinian who combined the extreme doctrines of Jihadi Salafiyyah and Wahhabism to create the severe Islamic teachings espoused by the insurgency in Iraq today and its supporters in the pan-Arab world. His teachings have inspired Afghanistan's former Taliban regime, bin Laden, and Islamists in Southeast Asia and Chechnya. Al-Zahrani is carrying forward the teachings of al-Maqdesi and a Saudi Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousef al-Ayeeri, the cleric and Saudi commander of al-Qaeda proper, who was shot dead in Riyadh in May last year. The rise of the Saudi-born al-Zahrani marks a shift of the younger generation of global Jihad scholars to Saudi hands. Another feared Saudi firebrand is Seyf, the man deemed to be the spiritual mentor behind the Chechen militants who killed more than 300 children and civilians in southern Russia.

2004-09-20 00:00:00

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