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About Dr. Walid Phares
Dr. Walid Phares is the Director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington, a visiting scholar at the European Foundation for Democracy and the author of the War of Ideas. Dr. Phares was one of the architects of UNSCR 1559. He is also a Professor of Middle East Studies at Florida Atlantic University and a contributing expert to FOX News. Dr. Phares teaches Global Strategies at the National Defense University. He serves as the secretary general of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Terrorism. Professor Phares’ is the author of two critical books on the Islamofascist threat to Western Civilization, "Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West” and "The War of Ideas: Jihadism Against Democracy." Dr. Phares is a co-secretary general of the Trans Atlantic Legislative Group on Counter Terrorism.
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Dr. Walid Phares
Don't Disregard Jihadi Threats Against Paris, London & Detroit
October 25, 2010

Adam Gadahn, the American-born propagandist for al Qaeda issued a 48 minutes long video posted on Jihadi web sites and now circulating in Salafi chat rooms in which he calls on "Muslims" (per his video) to conduct attacks from suburban areas against the cities of Paris, London and Detroit. He stated that individuals can perform what he coined as "the individual obligation of Jihad" by emerging from "miserable suburbs" and delivering strikes in the French capital, the British capital and in a US city where the Arab-Muslim community is demographically prominent in the suburbs, mainly in Dearborn.

What to make out of this declaration? There are those who will downplay Adam Gadahn's call for Jihad strikes against Paris, London and Detroit, who will dismiss al Qaeda's capacity of delivering blows and who, stubbornly, will continue to look at the real threat on the ground as "product of isolated extremists." And you have those who will take this call seriously, believe that al Qaeda can eventually provoke such strikes and perceive the threat as coming from an organized movement that has a plan and a strategy. Obviously, I concur with the second school.

First the video message by the American spokesman of al Qaeda comes in the wake of significant Western mobilization against potential strikes in Europe over the past weeks. French and other European authorities have been issuing warnings over possible Jihadi violence in several location on the continent. The US State Department issued its own travel warning to US citizens traveling to Europe. German officials revealed that as many as one thousand "Islamist militants" (read Jihadi) are potentially present on German soil.

In the US, we are stopping or uncovering almost one case of Jihadi terror attempt, a month, versus about one or two cases every year before 2009. Hence, the laws of numbers forces us to take al Qaeda video seriously. This type of material is not released lightly, even though it may not be a triggering point for a series of direct hits. In my many years of analysis of Jihadi propaganda I came to realize that there are, in most cases, several components behind the issuing of such declarations, particularly targeting named cities.

Gadahn's call is not practically directed to the entire Muslim population in these cities. Al Qaeda is calling on its own members, aspiring members and radicalized element to understand that this is the "will of the leadership." It named Paris, London and Detroit not because of the political barometer within the suburban Muslim communities but because the Jihadi networks are growing in these areas, as they are in most areas where radicalization is happening. But Gahdan wants symbolism and thus is trying to incite the already radicalized Jihadists to begin the macabre dance of death and mayhem.

Unfortunately, Western bureaucracies are in a state of ideological blindness imposed by a ban on referring to crucial terms and words needed to detect this radicalization. Hence the security of these cities on both sides of the Atlantic hinges on the brave first line of defense, law enforcement and counter intelligence.

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