In exploring the roots of the extreme radicalization represented by Salafism, Moghadam finds many causes, including Western dominance in the Arab world, the physical diffusion of Salafi institutions and actors, and the element of opportunity created by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He uses individual examples from the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Europe to show how the elite leaders of al Qaeda and affiliated groups and their foot soldiers interact with one another and how they garner support—and a growing number of converts and attackers—from the Muslim community. Based on over a decade of empirical research and a critical examination of existing thought on suicide attacks, Moghadam distinguishes the key characteristics separating globalized suicide strikes from the traditional, localized pattern that previously prevailed.
This unflinching analysis provides new information about the relationship between ideology and suicide attacks and recommends policies focused on containing Salafi Jihadism.
More than thirty years after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, there are signs of a growing assertiveness on the part of Shii actors, at times erupting into political violence. The book addresses two key questions: What trends emerge in the types of militancy Shii actors employ both inside and outside of the Shii heartland? And what are the main drivers of militancy in the Shii community? The editor concludes that although at present Shii assertiveness does not take on a predominantly militant form, a 'subculture of violence' does exist among most Shii communities examined here, and suggests five key drivers of political violence among Shiis: the impact of Iran; nationalism and anti-imperialism; Shii self-protection and communal advancement; mahdism; and organizational dynamics. This book will be of great interest to students and researchers of terrorism studies and political violence, war and conflict studies, and IR/Security Studies in general.