Over the past few weeks, in the aftermath of the Anwar al-Awlaki’s rise to mainstream media prominence, I’ve been asked by several journalists to identify and discuss the role of the influential ‘online celebrity shaykhs.’ At the top of my list of Western jihadist clerics has been a guy known as Shaykh Abdullah al-Faisal. Well, turns out, he’s not just at the top of my list.
This Jamaican-born fire-breathing jihadist cleric whose spent time in UK prison for incitement to terrorism was just arrested in Mombasa, Kenya for preaching in Kenyan mosques.
Abdullah al-Faisal, when compared to the previous generation of fire-breathing Western clerics (Abu Hamza al-Masri and Abu Qatada, for instance) is a light-weight. In fact, there’s a great video of Abdullah al-Faisal getting pwned by Abu Qatada in a debate. The point is, however, that he is still highly influential because, in large part, he offers a much simpler approach.
Whereas the big guns like Abu Qatada made multilayered ideological arguments, Anwar al-Awlaki and Abdullah al-Faisal present very clear, concise and direct behavioral guidance for their adherents. It’s what I’ve been calling, “Jihad for Dummies..”
Here’s some articles on Abdullah al-Faisal’s recent arrest in Kenya:
And here’s some videos of Abdullah al-Faisal just so you can see what I’m talking about: