speaking in tongues

speaking in tongues

Cordes (2001) in  When Terrorists Do the Talking: Reflections on Terrorist Literature, makes a case for the analysis of terrorist literature, the article reflects primarily on left-wing and anarchist texts but makes a number of comments relevant to the abundant jihadist literature which has proliferated with the advent of the Internet;  as have the exegetes of this material. Cordes observes citing Jerrold Post’s research that involvement in a terrorist group is motivated by, “[a] sense of belonging and the fraternity of like-minded members”.  An observation that Sageman with his “bunch of guys” research has reinforced (Sageman 2004). Cordes emphasizes the “auto-propaganda” role, the need for the group to auto-convince themselves not only of the justness of cause but also to preserve the group. Much of the recent biographical literature – both biographies and autobiographies – related to foreign fighters centers around individuals who were forced to leave their activities through arrest and detention. In all likelihood this has influenced the story they have told and thus the issue of “auto-propaganda” may differ to the texts studied by Cordes. Key texts include:

el-Aroud, M.  (2003). “Les soldats de la lumiere”.

Nasiri, O. (2006). “Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda”. Basic Books

al-Bahri, N. & Malbrunot, G. (2010). “Dans l’ombre de Ben Laden : Révélations de son garde du corps repenti”. Michel Lafont

Hicks, D. (2010). “Guantanamo My Journey”. Random House

Kurnaz, M. (2008). “Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo”. Palgrave MacMillan

Sassi, N. & Benhamou, G. (2006). “Prisonnier 325, camp Delta : De Vénissieux à Guantanamo”. Editions Denoël

Benchellali, M. & Audouard, A (2006). “Voyage vers l’enfer”. Robert Laffont

Begg, M. & Brittain, V. (2006). “Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar”. The New Press

Shephard, M. (2008). “Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr”. Wiley

Zaeef, M.A.S. & Caradec’h (2008). “Prisonnier à Guantanamo”. EGDV


Cordes, B. (2001). When Terrorists Do the Talking: Reflections on Terrorist Literature. In , Rapoport, D. (Ed.), Inside Terrorist Organizations. Frank Cass: London , Portland. pp.150-171

Sageman, M. (2004). Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press

Sageman, M. (2010). Understanding Al Qaeda and the New Terror Networks, Presentation at the Foreign Policy Research Institute