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Transnational Islamic networks

31-12-2010 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 880, by Imtiaz Gul

Besides a surge in terrorist activities, events following the 11 September terrorist attack on the United States have raised a new challenge for the world: the emergence of transnational Islamic networks. This article gives an overview of the role of Islamist networks and their influence in South and South-west Asia and the Afghanistan—Pakistan region in particular.

Abstract

Besides a surge in terrorist activities, events following the 11 September terrorist attack on the United States have raised a new challenge for the world: the emergence of transnational Islamic networks, predominantly influenced by organizations such as Ikhwan al Muslimeen (the Muslim Brotherhood) and Al Qaeda, which are helping to spread a particular religious ideology across the globe and are also having an impact on pre-existing groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This article gives an overview of the role of Islamist networks and their influence, drawn from Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, in South and South-west Asia and the Afghanistan–Pakistan region in particular. It also explains how local like-minded outfits have used Al Qaeda’s anti-Western jargon to recruit foot soldiers and enlist support within their society, besides serving as financial conduits for the radical Wahabite/Salafi reformists.

Biography

Imtiaz Gul is the Executive Director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad, and has been covering security and terrorism-related issues in the South/Central Asian region for more than two decades.


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