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Are Cyber Jihadists Fanning the Flames of the U.K. Riots?


"We want the European Spring and not Arab only."

As England tries to recover from riots last week and police prepare for possible new outbreaks, there have been some early indications that radical Islamists are not only happy with the chaos in Britain, they are encouraging it.

SITE intelligence has captured a few posts from Islamic-extremists' websites in mid-August that show the cyber jihad community has high hopes that the U.K. riots will continue.

The posters recognize the resulting breakdown in Western legal and social norms from continued riots would benefit the radical Islamist cause, and they hope to use the internet as a means to this outcome.

Postings to the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shumkh al-Islam forum have suggested, according to SITE, that the London riots are:

"Useful for the mujahideen, as it is possible, for example, that British soldiers may be withdrawn from Afghanistan to quell the disturbances."

While you could discount this comment as straightforward analysis (putting aside the jihadist affiliation of the forum), it is harder to brush aside other comments that:

"English-speaking jihadists [should] incite Britons to continue to riot, and... post messages on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Other forum members praised the idea and gave thoughts for slogans to rile the rioters, such as: 'We are all Mark Duggan,' 'No to spending money on colonial military missions," and 'Yes for equality between the segments of British society.'"

Similar discussion was held on the Ansar Mujahideen forum. SITE reports that members of that online community want to become actively involved in the U.K. unrest through the web, writing:

"Just as they supported the Arab revolutions through Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, we want to export these revolutions to them. Enter their pages on Facebook and Twitter, and their forums, and spread photos of their revolution and incite them to continue. Make video clips of their protests and heroic acts. Those who are demonstrating there are mostly young people, and it is easy to make use of their enthusiasm. Distribute photos of the Arab revolutions, but write them in English as if it is their revolution. We want the European Spring and not Arab only."

So at least some members of an Al-Qaeda-affiliated forum, one that has openly called for terrorist violence in the past, see an opening in the current environment to encourage pandemonium in Britain through the internet.

The question then becomes: Why would jihadists want to encourage, assist, and promote riots that come from the nanny-state demanding European left, as opposed to an Islamic, anti-western world view?

The answer is that jihadists take the long view, and will work with anyone to undermine the U.S. and its allies. Remember, Shia Iran has allied with Sunni terrorists groups. Anarchists fought alongside Communists against Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Allegiances of convenience are not a historical anomaly.

But more to the point, the Islamists know that western civilization is the primary impediment to their plans for a global caliphate. Jihadists feel it is better to bring down the load bearing walls of western civilization, arm-in-arm with international socialists and other radicals, and figure out who will rule once the dust settles.

A point of history to remember: Al Qaeda emerged from the victory of the mujahadeen over Communist Russia. In their view, the jihadists beat the communists once, so they think the next time around the less ferocious socialists would be an easy adversary.

In their minds, only the U.S., Britain, and a handful of others that truly stand in their way, which makes any subversive, radical leftist movement in those countries a useful short-term ally.

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