The Lesser Jihads examines conflict through the lens of Islamist terrorist groups. It outlines how terrorists see war, as well as what historical and current events and ideas they use not only to justify violence, but also encourage others to participate. Following a brief examination of recent wars in which Islamist terrorist groups played a significant role (Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, and Syria), the text describes ongoing conflict in 22 countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. It shows how Jihadists use their propaganda to continue what they see as their obligation to fight to protect Islam, and how extremist messaging interprets these conflicts. It identifies and explains the connectivity of these conflicts, framing them into a global world view. In light of the ongoing war in Syria, the text provides a timely warning that other wars may grow in lethality and scope, arguing that there is enough Muslim suffering and perceived international aggression against Islam to feed future conflict. Bringing together in one volume different conflicts where terrorist groups are active worldwide, it introduces the world and thinking of Jihadists while highlighting a number of seldom reported cases.
Phil Gurski served for more than 30 years as an analyst in the Canadian intelligence community. In 2001 he joined CSIS where he was a strategic analyst, specializing in homegrown Al Qaeda-inspired terrorism and radicalization to violence. In 2013 he moved to Public Safety Canada as a Senior Strategic Advisor on Canada's Countering Violent Extremism policy.