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Transnational Islamism as the source of terrorism
Material posted: Publication date: 15-10-2016
Initially, when writing this article I would like to mention and remind that the main real danger for Russia of the early twentieth century A. E. Snesarev still not considered German military power, and not the semi-mythical "yellow peril" and "the forces of evil and terror" destroy the Fatherland from within. For several years Colonel of the Russian General staff explained from the pages of "voice of Truth" the government and the society the truth that "terrorism is the principle characteristic of the social-revolutionaries" and that they, under the slogan "liberation struggle" and the Communist phraseology actually mean only the seizure of power.

  "Terror is a horrible thing

there's only one thing worse than terror:

it is practiced to bear the violence"

Sergei Stepnyak-Krawczynski


"We need to create a single fist, a powerful anti-terrorist front against international terrorism"

Vladimir Putin

In his opinion, this "formidable enemy of Russia and the army" had to be "urgent and decisive struggle until complete victory." A. E. Snesarev emphasized the fact that in the ranks of the radical revolutionaries found themselves not only "armed crooks" and "moral freaks" (ideological fanatics – suicide), but "finished and well-equipped professionals" who are able to commit their crimes "complicated plan" and "amazing wielding a weapon."

And in 1905-1907 revolutionary terrorists were able to "induce fear and terror on the whole population, to make it nervenklinik and disturbing." Against this insidious and savage enemy, blatantly practicing their vile craft (explosions, looting, robbery, murder, arson, expropriation, strikes, any kind of "a criminal perversion of human thought", etc.), A. E. Snesarev required to take action extraordinary and exceptional, not just "revelatory, exploratory, and enforcement"[1].

But even such a competent officer as A. Snesarev could not foresee that mankind in its destructive process will go much further. And his invention will be terrorism, going far beyond one state.

So, what carries the notion of transnational terrorism? Transnational terrorism, in my opinion, as a kind of international terrorism, infringes on international law, uses the use (or threat of use) of organized violence aimed at the elimination of political, ideological (ideological), religious opponents, the so-called "traitors" to the movement (ideas), on the territory of several States, organized and carried out by individuals or groups of individuals, United in the organization, independent from any state and government agencies, including special services.

The facts of recent decades gives grounds to speak about a significant widespread support and use of state special services of some countries and transnational terrorist organizations are radical, nationalist, separatist, religious and other nature. Very often the criterion of choice of the terrorist organization acts as a complex his motivations to action. The rationale for bringing these subjects of international terrorist activities to the informal cooperation can serve a variety of reasons: the common ideological positions, religious identity, the definition of "common enemy" and others. And absolute anonymity and, therefore, avoiding possible sanctions by the world community or retaliation of the victim, cost-effectiveness, the conclusion is "under direct attack" of their employees the state special services.

You must also take into account that the basis of modern terrorism is the most powerful of the illegal economy associated with the "dirty" war, oil and drug trafficking, slave trade and kidnapping for ransom. In this regard, we cannot ignore the following remark of Vladimir Solovyov and A. Viktorova: "in Addition, international terrorism has become big business. Behind him are a widespread and deeply hidden large international financial mafia, which are primarily connected with the drug trade. Only Afghanistan every year he gives $ 50 billion [2]. So just terrorism will not surrender, and to overcome it will not be easy". It is important to emphasize that the use of drugs that are distributed worldwide, destroyed hundreds of times more people than during the most brutal combat. And it's "silent weapons" has long been in the hands of radical extremists.

According to A. Snesarev, already during his studies of international terrorism appeared on threat level. This is the "private" terrorism (individuals and organizations) has become a powerful political force, taking advantage of the tactics and strategy of terrorist States in the recent past. Besides the terrorist activities almost led to the denial of more "noble" in their methods of guerrilla warfare, characteristic of national liberation movements. She also was directed not so much against specific representatives of the government (as before), and acquired the character of "collective punishment" of the civilian population [1].

Today, for transnational terrorism, characterized by an aggressive rejection of European-Christian values, increased political participation, willingness to resort to violent means, including terrorism. Now the "state", i.e. under the control of one or a few centers, Islamism has become a "natural", polycentric, much less driven. He's younger and more aggressive, and most importantly – it becomes transnational, filling the ideological vacuum left after the collapse of the great experiments conducted in the middle East in the post-colonial era. As noted by V. V. Naumkin, "with all the diversity Islam has been trying to act as a collective transnational political player, in any case, it has become political Islam... Today the idea of a global Ummah – one of the theoretical foundations of any Islamic project. In the Sunni version of it, logically follows the vision of an Islamic state"[3]. Participants carried out a number of such "Islamic projects" the attacks are interpreted often in terms of geopolitics and geo-Economics as a response to the rich North from the poor South, the gap between them seems to be the ideology of "political Islam" fatal. All modern radicals who use Islam as an ideology, argue that a return to the egalitarianism of Sharia and the recreation of the rules of public life, required for "true", "devout" Muslims – is an effective way of combating corruption, exploitation, crime, and other ills of the modern world. This evil arises, in their opinion, due to the fact that in a world dominated by the Western "materialistic" system and liberalism (and decades earlier, was dominated by socialism and Marxism). Meanwhile, although the radicalism in religious form, and occupied a stable niche in middle East policy, from its manifestations suffer to a large extent do the peoples of the region. Transformation of faith in radical ideology determines the political position of the Islamists that are actually extremist politicians and parties opposed to democracy, human rights and freedom of conscience.

Superterrorism – the evil of universal scale. As anticipated Snesarev, a new danger (aggressive force) came from the East. The beginning of the XXI century in the world system clearly delineated the threat of global terrorism, mainly manifested in the form and guise of radical Islam. Of all the varieties of terrorist movements (national, political and other) "is much more than threat was terrorism, which feeds on religious fanaticism, for he has no logic, no compassion, no ability to make concessions[1].

The current very dangerous period of increasing extremism with a "Muslim face" counts, perhaps, from 1984, then across the Middle East, the international Muslim organizations (especially in this field the distinguished League of the Islamic world) asked for volunteers – young Islamic radicals, and sent them to Peshawar (Pakistan) on the border with Afghanistan. There in special camps, preparing the replenishment of the Mujahideen who fought the Soviet troops. All this operation with the approval of the CIA was directed by the Pakistani military inter-service intelligence (Inter-ServiceIntelligence,ISI) and the Saudi Ministry of intelligence. The Saudis, according to French researcher Olivier Roy, made a bid for the Afghan Mujahideen not only from a desire to demonstrate loyalty to the idea of Muslim solidarity, but also, inspired by the real policy: to subvert in the region, Iran's influence, here to impose their own version of Sunni fundamentalism, which is close to the Wahhabi school "an anti-Shia and characterized by conservatism"[4]. Pakistan used the Afghan war to establish allied relations with the USA, and also with supporters and promoters of "neopaganism". Writes ROI, Pakistani politicians realized that the Soviet troops sooner or later will leave Afghanistan; and because they constantly dominated the Indian threat that they had hoped to expand its sphere of influence from Kabul to Tashkent, turning it, thus, Soviet Muslims. As for the US, their motivation during that period was motivated by a desire to establish control over the movements of "political Islam", they also tried to manipulate Islam in a favorable direction for themselves. However, the American tactics intended to – as was the case with al-Qaeda to control the extremism in the "world of Islam" has not justified itself. Released in Afghanistan, the Genie of radicalism "out of the bottle" and turned against its Creator. But this should wait, given the anti-Americanism inherent to transnational Islamism, the various currents of "political Islam" and moderate wings.

Can not be considered successful and later the American initiative against the "Islamic state", which hasn't managed to keep under control, so now, in the case of its influence outside Syria and Iraq, it threatens escalation of conflict, can give rise in the middle East, new threats and security risks. Hundreds of thousands of young militants marched through the Afghan network, becoming "jihadists" and kind of "Afghan international" turned into a strike force of neoclasico.

After the withdrawal from Afghanistan of Soviet troops, they dispersed to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, establishing on the ground the scattered radical groups, which became known as "Afghans." In the early 1990-ies, these groups turned against the West because the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, and then the collapse of the USSR reduced the motivation for their anti-Soviet activities. In addition, the Gulf war gave a new enemy – the West, USA, the Saudi regime, providing "the armies of the ungodly" the territory of the Kingdom. Since 1994, the same external forces that in the 1980-ies sponsored Mujahideen, has bet on the Taliban. Formed in 1989 by Osama bin Laden's organization "al-Qaeda" (interpreted as "base", "base") has established an extensive international structure, with cells in many countries and regions, including the USA and Europe. In contrast to the Arab extremist organizations, carrying out acts of terror against the United States, the West, and in the name of the Palestinian cause, but almost always under secular slogans (which is not surprising, since Christians have been a significant part of the activists and leaders of the Palestine liberation Organization), the radicals of the new generation developed on the world stage due to religious war.

In early 1998, Osama bin Laden signed a cooperation agreement with the leaders of the Egyptian Jihad Mustafa Hamza and Ahmed al-Zawahiri. Then they announced the creation of a "World front for Jihad," or "world Islamic front against Jews and crusaders"[5].

In Kyiv. banner poluraspredelenia in 2000-ies in Afghanistan, "al-Qaeda" caught "transnational Caliphate" in the form of "Islamic state".

Born in 2006 in the depths of the "al-Qaeda", radikalislamisten organization of Sunni "Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) since 2011 took (along with other Islamist insurgents and secular opposition) active participation in the Western-backed anti-Assad war in Syria. Then unleashing a bloody conflict with the government of Iraq, its religious communities (Shiites, Christians, Yezidis), ethnic minorities (Kurds, Armenians) and quickly seized much of the country, ISIS declared on 29 June 2014 in the controlled territories in Iraq and Syria, "Islamic Caliphate" and began to call themselves "Islamic state" (IG). Between him and other radical Islamist movements no special ideological differences, but there are differences from the point of view of its geographical presence. If al Qaeda, for example, despite the fact that it controlled certain States (Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan), was a terrorist organization that is not seeking a permanent presence on any territory and remained only a movement, then IG, as its name implies, sees itself as a multinational Union, which is able to expand its geographical boundaries and not be confined to Iraq and Syria. The head of the American research intelligence center "Stratfor" George Friedman says in this regard: "As the grouping of its influence extends to support various partisan groups and contains a significant terrorist apparatus, it becomes in the region of something new, namely, the Islamist movement acting as a regional state... the Group behaves as a geopolitical structure, and the organization of transnational Islamism, like "al-Qaeda" or Islamic state more yet it will exist, it will be based on geopolitical challenge"[6].

Despite the seemingly archaic attitudes, a product of contemporary globalization than the Islamic past. They use mainly two international languages – English and Arabic; identificeret themselves as Muslims rather than citizens of particular States; easy to change place of residence without being rooted in a specific homeland or encumbered kinship, tribal, ethnic, and national roots and connections. These organizations have created a huge outreach network in almost all countries of the world and their followers to communicate with each other via the Internet and satellite phones. It is noteworthy that the religious fanatics themselves sat at the helm difficult to manage jet planes rammed the September 11, 2001 world trade center in new York and the Pentagon.

The danger lies in the fact that these groups and movements are expanding their area of activities, and now, under the influence of middle East realities in the area of the African Sahel, its destructive role in the observed local politics such specific groups and movements of radical Islam as "al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb," "Boko Haram" (meaning "a ban on Western education"), "Al-Shabaab" ("youth", "children") and others. They and their middle Eastern supporters gather in rather amorphous Association, disintegrate, reappear under other names, change leaders, in short, become less perceptible. Moreover, it is difficult to predict in advance what the inconsistencies may cause in the region to internal conflict, and which cause an international crisis, although in these contradictions there is nothing fatally predefined, they are the result of deeply hidden factors.

The escalation of transnational extremism in General and the rapidly changing situation in the middle East, conflict potential which has been greatly magnified once swept the region in the Arab spring, Russia poses new challenges, prompting her to find his own place in the middle East, and in the emerging polycentric system of international relations. Russia is worried about the resulting internationalization of the middle East conflict General chaos, disintegration of countries, the looting of the stockpiles of weapons accumulated by the deposed regimes, and use it for subversive or illegal purposes. The challenge for Russia is also spread around the world and in the Muslim regions of the Russian radical Islamist ideology that threatens the fragile interethnic and interreligious peace, the security of the Russian Federation. Dangerous and that in case of implementation of radical Islamists and their goals in the middle East and North Africa the wave of extremism can roll up to Southern Russia, neighboring countries of the South Caucasus andcentral Asia.

Therefore, for Russia, interested in gaining as one of the influential centers of the modern world, the most important factor in the global balance of geopolitical stability and balance in world politics, it is important to continue to make their presence in the strategically important middle East region.

At the same time Russia will need to take the initiative on the part of the promotion and the establishment there of the structures and organisations of regional security. This will serve to stabilize the fragile region borders, there to counter security threats. In order to play that role, Russia will have to restore its position as the dynamic core of world politics become an important part of positive change in the world, influential participant in the creation of a polycentric world.

It is equally important to emphasize the fact that contemporary international terrorism is a military-ideological force. And it makes this phenomenon particularly resistant, is able to reproduce (a lack no recruits), formidable. Its ideologues recognize only the armed struggle in the name of establishing a "true" Islamic government, "do" violence, citing the Koran.

And to finish this article I want to quote V. Aksenov: "you Have to understand, says the writer, that we must survive in this nanokernel world war mongrel type"[7]. 

List of used literature

  1. Snesarev, A. E. Afghan lessons: Insights for the future in light of the ideological heritage of A. E. Snesarev. - Moscow: Military University, Russian way, 2003. P. 781-795.
  2. Deriglazova L. V. Asymmetric conflict: an equation with many unknowns. Tomsk: Publishing house Tomsk University, 2009.
  3. Naumkin V. V. Islam as a collective player // International processes, 2006. Vol. 4, No. 1 (10), Jan-Feb. P. 44.
  4. Roy O. Changing patterns among radical Islamic movements // The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 1999, Winter/spring. Vol. VI, issue 1. P. 116.2 Ibid.
  5. Roy O. Op. cit. P. 117.
  6. Friedman G. The Islamic State reshapes the Middle East/ Stratfor, 25 November 2014.URL:
  7. Aksenov V. northeast from the South. In Moscow broke out and for three days burnt a mad scramble world war // Moscow news. - 2002. - 29 Oct. – 4 Nov.

Dikunova Maria

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