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The Jihadi Forums: An Open Forum with Sheikh Abu Sa‘ad Al-‘Amili

There is no doubt that the Jihadi forums are a main component of the Jihadi public relations and information-sharing system. The forums are also a crucial platform for spreading Al-Qaeda’s doctrine, as well as that of other Jihadi organizations, for updating their collaborators with news relating to the various Jihadi fields, for recruiting new members and collaborators, etc. In general, this medium has a strong influence in shaping the Jihadi discourse according to the forum members’ viewpoint, their perception of the processes, etc. The forum members, who are committed to advancing the ideas of Jihad and who identify, to various degrees, with the Safafi-Jihadi credo, can be perceived as a “virtual imaginary community”. As such, the directors of the Jihadi forums place considerable importance on strengthening their ties with the surfers.

One of the main measures designed to strengthen the ties between the Jihadi forums and their surfers is the provision of an open platform to registered surfers for a limited period of time (usually a few days). During this time, the surfers have the rare opportunity to pose questions on various issues directly to a senior Jihadi-Salafi sheikh who is a guest on the forum. After closing the platform, the forum publishes an electronic booklet containing most of the surfers’ questions and the sheikh’s responses.

The following document focuses on an “open meeting” with Sheikh Abu Sa‘ad Al-‘Amili, a Jihadi-Salafi sheikh whose real identity remains a secret.

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