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Is the next massive Jihadist group already waiting in the wings

by Kyle Rogers

Say hello to Hizb-Ut-Tahrir [HuT]. Note the black flag of Jihad in the logo. This is the flag popularized by Osama Bin Laden and used by all al-Qaeda affiliates.

HuT was founded in 1956 by a Palestinian appeals court judge in Jerusalem. It is currently operated out of Lebanon. It allegedly has military training camps in Southeast Asia. Some “experts” claim it has a million members, while others say it only has tens of thousands. However, the groups has a vast presence. It is active in forty or more countries, including many European nations.

The group has been banned in Egypt since 1974 for allegedly attempting a coup against the Egyptian government. The group was banned in Kazakhstan in 2005 for alleged ties to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Hut was allegedly behind a training camp in Southern Kazakhstan that was exporting ethnic Uyghur Jihadists to neighboring countries. The government of Uzbekistan blames  HuT for killing fifty people in terrorist attacks in that country in 2004.

Kazakhstan Intelligence says that Hut agitates “social, racial, ethnic, and religious division.” This is also the primary tactic of ISIS is countries like Iraq and Lebanon.

Right now, HuT’s biggest weapon is the fact that no one knows who they are. While ISIS goads the rest of the world with televised atrocities, HuT is quietly training the next wave of Jihadists.

The goal of HuT is a Sunni Caliphate and worldwide domination by Sunni Islam. The advocate Sharia law. Publicly the group claims to hate violence. Currently they call on their membership to engage in Da’wah. This word means refers to Islamic missionary work. The large British wing of Hut officially condemns terrorist attacks. However, HuT does have a history of endorsing Jihadist violence. One recent example is in Libya, where they were active in the Jihad against Muamar Gaddafi.

Experts call HuT a “conveyor belt” that produces fighters for active Jihadist groups. Several major al-Qaeda leaders have been former members of HuT.

Bashir al-Asaad, Saddam Hussein, Honsi Mubarak, and Muamar Gaddafi were all actively suppressing HuT before the US declared war on those regimes.

Presently ISIS and HuT are at odds with each other. Just as ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood are at odds. Ultimately all three groups have the same goal.

In 2012, 16 Bangladesh military officers were recently arrested for plotting a HuT coup against the government of Bangladesh. The government of India views HuT as a serious threat that is radicalizing Muslims in the region.

The media in India is buzzing about “one million members” and “chemical and biological weapons.” These are probably huge exaggerations. However, clearly HuT is seen as a major Jihadist threat in India. HuT has a large presence in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Two countries that export Jihadists to fight against India. HuT is seen as influential among Muslim college students in India. In 2010, HuT organized a rally with 1,000 Muslims in New Delhi. Since then there has been no public activity, but it is likely that Indian Intelligence is actively suppressing the group.

HuT is adamant that it does not support violent Jihad. However, it clearly does support violent Jihad. It just doesn’t support Jihad to the degree that al-Qaeda and ISIS do. It endorses individual conflicts within national borders, instead of calling for the violent overthrow of an entire region like ISIS. The group has certainly staged violence and engaged in Jihad in the past. The group adopted the black flag popularized by al-Qaeda. So there is really no question.

On a scale of support for offensive Jihad, it goes Muslim Brotherhood, HuT, al-Qaeda, and then ISIS as the most violent. The Taliban is a little more complicated, because it is one ethnic group. It is fighting for Jihad wherever ethnic Pashtun live, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Kashmir. It is not a pan-Islamic group like the others. Though the Taliban accepts aid from and harbors pan-Islamic Jihadist groups made up of foreigners.

HuT should be considered a major threat to Europe. Even though the European chapters claim non-violence, they are a major radicalizer in Europe. The entire country of Saudi Arabia is also a major radicalizer and they are a US/NATO ally. Even if ISIS is eradicated in a huge war costing the lives of many US  and European soldiers, all the radicalizers will still be in place. The Arab regimes fighting the Jihadists are mostly gone. Taken out by an insane US foreign policy.