The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has an excellent resource for those wishing to find out more about just who we are fighting in the Global War on Terror.
It is available as an Executive Summary [Link to PDF 991kB and 23 pages] and as a hefty Research Compendium [Link to PDF 4,918 kB and 361 pages].
The Militant Ideology Atlas identifies the most influential thinkers in the Jihadi Movement (see appendices) and delineates the movement’s key ideological vulnerabilities. It situates the Jihadi Movement within the various Muslim constituencies that Jihadi leaders seek to influence and persuade.
These constituencies can be envisioned as a series of nesting circles (Diagram 1:Jihadi Constituencies). Each constituency is responsive to leaders in the broader constituencies of which it is a part, but each also has its own set of thinkers that are best positioned to influence their base.
The largest constituency is comprised of Muslims, people who follow the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad. This includes Sunnis (people who follow the example of the Prophet) and Shi`a is (people who follow the example of the Prophet and his descendents through his son-in-law Ali), and ranges from secularists to fundamentalists. This constituency is much too broad to identify one or two individuals who shape opinion across the broad spectrum of Muslims.
I hope many of you download and read this study and realize the utter shallowness of the anti-war crowd in facing up to reality and the goals of the Islamofascists who are dedicated to the removal of our civilization from the earth.
And to the lefties out there who would critique my position, try reading the thing instead of falling back on lefty talking points.