A new English-language publication from al Qaeda is calling for economic jihad against America, Israel, and the West more broadly. The publication was premiered this year to recruit in English-speaking areas. The article is quite clear in its intention of economic warfare. The threats mentioned directly match what was previously written in an al Qaeda timeline provided to a Jordanian journalist back in 2005. Targets include oil facilities, oil fields, shipping, the dollar, Western financial infrastructure and other infrastructure (no doubt including our power grid).
Here are a few quotes from the Resurgence article titled "On Targeting the Heel of Western Economies."
"Any of their ships are legitimate targets, but exports are the key to any economy, including the economies of the West," Gadahn wrote. "The mujahideen must seek to deprive the enemies of the precious oil and mineral resources they are stealing from us and using to fuel their war machine, by sabotaging crusader-run oil wells and mines in Islamic lands and destroying pipelines before the oil reaches the coast and falls into enemy hands, and by sinking their supertankers and sabotaging their oil rigs in enemy waters, and in the process, ruining their lucrative fishing industries…."
"Meanwhile, Muslims must continue to boycott American, Crusader and Jewish businesses and products, from cars and computers to candies and clothing, and we must produce, purchase and support local alternatives whenever possible. Major Western companies and multinational corporations like Walmart, MacDonald's, Proctor and Gamble, Microsoft, Nestle and Unilever are symbols of the rampant Crusader globalization which is characterized by the exploitation of the weak and impoverished, and the destruction of local economies. It is our duty as Muslims and as Mujahideen to stop this at all costs."
"Muslims must avoid as much as possible banks and financial markets, because not only are they based on the so-called "interest", which is nothing but usury, whose users, abusers and beneficiaries Allah has threatened with war (see al-Quran 2:275-281). Banks are also an integral part of the Western-run global economic system which has become a tool for enslaving the Muslims and other oppressed people of the world. Instead, Muslims must start to make efforts to reinstate gold, silver and other basic commodities as the standards and mediums of exchange, and begin experimenting with barter systems as initial steps on the way to attaching the industrial production base to a local Islamic economy and ridding ourselves of the enemy's national and global economies. Reinstating gold as a medium of exchange is also necessary for ridding ourselves of the usurious fractional reserve banking system that creates money from nothing, ties our markets and industries to the economies of the West, puts us at the mercy of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization, and makes us vulnerable to international sanctions, economic embargoes, and countless other forms of interference in our society, culture, governmentand religion."
"Some might ask, "Is it reasonable to ask Muslims to try to free themselves from the clutches of the international financial system before the defeat of Kufr Internationale and establishment of the greater Islamic state?" My reply is: Yes, it's perfectly reasonable to encourage the Muslims to begin to prepare themselves financially and economically for the victory of Islam, the same way we encourage them to prepare, organize and educate themselves religiously, militarily and politically in order to pave the way for the establishment of the Islamic state! Today more than ever before, Muslims have begun to understand that they will never be able to achieve the economic prosperity and political independence they aspire to without first freeing their countries from the usurious global financial system and the disproportionately large influence of international donors."
We've bolded a few of the critical points. From these, we draw some important conclusions:
- The primary focus of this article is an attack on oil infrastructure and shipping. The goal is clearly to harm Western economies.
- There is also a direct threat against major Western companies, especially those that do business in the Middle East.
- There is an implied threat against the global financial and banking system, which they blame for enslaving Muslims.
- There is a push to use gold instead of the petrodollar. It is well understood (and has been previously stated by al Qaeda) that such a move is designed to also collapse the American dollar.
- It is implied that the Western financial system will collapse and that is an essential requirement for the ultimate victory of Islam.
Now, match these calls for economic jihad with what was written in the al Qaeda timeline: under the heading Recuperation and Possession of Power to Create Change (Resurgence):
The match is almost perfect. Interestingly, however, the goal was to accomplish these attacks immediately following what could only be described as a plan for the so-called Arab Spring for the overthrow of Arab regimes. Al Qaeda was clearly successful in some areas such as Libya and made efforts in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere. Once the economic warfare had been waged, the next step was to declare the Islamic State. That was scheduled for 2013-2016. The only problem? Certain elements of al Qaeda wanted to declare the IS early BEFORE the collapse of the U.S. dollar while the leadership wanted to wait. This created a temporary rift between al Qaeda and IS/ISIS/ISIL. Many believe the rift had to do with tactics. There was speculation that al Qaeda disowned ISIS to gain favor with larger Muslim communities. Some insiders, however, suspect it was more timing and leadership. Regardless, it is worth noting that the rift has been closing rapidly. And, with the economic jihad underway, al Qaeda will no doubt seek to incorporate the ISIS ground success into the larger Islamic State goals. The primary issue may well have been timing.
The goal is to destroy the Western Economy and thus any ability to stop or even slow the rise of the Caliphate and Islamic State. In the same issue of Resurgence, there is a lengthy article denouncing capitalism and any Muslims who are connected to it. Here is a critical section:
Basically, the article goes on to call for jihad against capitalism and the total renouncement of all forms of capitalism as well as the Western financial system by Muslims. Al Qaeda views even economic cooperation with the West to be foolish.
Bill Gertz captured the intent of the Resurgence magazine article nicely today. He also quoted Lt. General Boykin and me as shown in these excerpts:
BY: Bill Gertz October 28, 2014 1:25 pm
Al Qaeda is urging jihadists to conduct attacks on U.S. and foreign oil tankers and strategic sea lanes in a new global campaign of economic warfare against the United States, according to the terrorist group's latest English-language magazine….
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a former Special Forces commando and undersecretary of defense for intelligence during the George W. Bush administration, said Islamic terrorists are keenly aware of American reliance on Mideast oil.
"They know that our economy is fragile and can be devastated by sudden increases in the global oil prices," Boykin said in an email. "It is obvious that they will try to attack our weaknesses and oil is clearly one of our major vulnerabilities."
The article is another indication that Islamists "are indeed an enemy and they have in fact declared war on America," Boykin said.
Kevin Freeman, an expert on economic warfare, said al Qaeda as early as 2005 outlined a timeline for its war against the West that included fomenting an Arab uprising and then launching an economic warfare campaign.
"It has always been an economic war," Freeman said. "From the first attacks on the World Trade Center until now, al Qaeda has used an economic warfare playbook modeled on the Chinese doctrine of unrestricted warfare."
Freeman said the al Qaeda magazine articles bolster the findings of a report to the Pentagon in 2009 on economic warfare outlining terrorists' use of the tactic of attacking oil targets.
"Our enemies know that stopping the flow of oil, crashing our stock market, or collapsing the dollar are the paths to America's destruction," he said.
"The al Qaeda timeline has, since at least 2005, planned a new caliphate and Islamic State aimed against the West and Israel," he added. "To accomplish this, they knew even back then, required an attack on Western economies."
Freeman said the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems but has ignored repeated credible evidence of economic attacks and threats against our financial infrastructure and power grid.
The al Qaeda threat to oil shipments also underscores the need to end America's reliance on foreign oil supplies with North American oil production, Freeman said.
"We also have to shore up our financial infrastructure, protect the dollar, and guard our power grid," said Freeman, author of a book on the subject, Game Plan.
"Individuals must prepare their investment portfolios for resilience in an economic war."