The sheikh’s neo-jihadi theory was explained a decade ago in his magnum opus “Governance in the Wilderness” (“Edarat al Tawwahush”). The book rejected al Qaeda’s theory of war based on the assumption that “the infidel” would succumb to Islamic rule with a few spectacular attacks such as 9/11 against New York and Washington. The sheikh further examines what he calls “the five schools of jihad” to reveal their inadequacies.
The Islamic movement must become global, fighting everywhere, all the time, and on all fronts. He wants neo-jihadis to create an archipelago of “wildernesses” in non-Muslim countries, especially in the West, turning them into parallel societies alongside existing ones. They do not set up formal governments that could be vulnerable to economic pressure or even military attack.
To our neo-jihadi sheikh, these parallel societies could resemble “liberated zones” set up by Marxist guerrillas in parts of Latin America in the last century. But they could also exist within cities, under the noses of the authorities, operating as secret societies with their own rules, values and enforcement mechanisms. The “wilderness” will provide cover for operational bases. Jihad would be everywhere rather than in just one or two countries that the “infidel” could hit with superior firepower. The sheikh recommends “countless small operations” that render daily life unbearable rather than a few spectacular attacks such as 9/11. The idea is that the “infidel,” leaving his home every morning, should not be sure whether he would be alive in the evening.