Meet the Coindinistas

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Andrew Exum, the coindinista blogger— counterinsurgency for the uninitiate–relies heavily upon the Norwegian Thomas Hegghammer, whose studies of al-Qaeda and Islamic militancy have made him a rising star in global intelligence circles. Today both linked Israel to global Islamic militancy in ways that will give heartburn to neoconservatives.

Last year, Hegghammer, in a Harvard talk on al-Qaeda, noted that Abdullah Azzam, a founder of transnational jihad, was heavily influenced by Zionism and wished to create a militant Islamic equivalent. A few Israelis and polite Cambridge liberals in the audience appeared uncomfortable. Ibn Tufayel simply smirked and noted that it wasn’t only Muslims that are in denial. Now the coindinistas and terrorism specialists draw an explicit link between Israeli violence against Palestinians and global Islamic militancy.

There is an important distinction between coindinistas/international terrorism specialists and neoconservatives. The former fights global Islamic terror groups but has sympathy for broader Muslim societies. The latter wishes to fight all Muslims globally and has contempt for all Muslims. Hegghammer on the Foreign Policy blog links the Israeli occupation as a "significant" contributing factor to global Islamic militancy:

My claim is a moderate one: Palestine matters and should be taken into consideration by counterterrorism strategists. I am not saying that Palestine is the only cause of anti-Western jihadism or even the most important one. However, of all the causes over which Western policymakers have influence, Palestine is probably among the most significant.

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