Jihadi Terms and Terminology

Publication: Terrorism Focus Volume: 2 Issue: 7

Al-Rawafidh: The rejectionists, renegades

An opprobrious term used by Salafists to refer to the Shi’ites.

Al-Sham or Bilad al-Sham: The historical name for Greater Syria, which generally includes modern-day Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and some areas of Turkey. A group calling itself Tanzim Jund al-Sham (Organization of the Army of Greater Syria) has appeared on Islamist forums (see “The Qatar theater bombing” in this issue of Focus). The use of this term, like Bilad al-Haramayn, Bilad al-Rafidayn and Bilad al-Berber, indicates the mujahideen’s disregard for what they consider to be ‘Crusader/Zionist’ borders.

Al-Riyadhah al-Badaniyyah: Physical Exercises, Fitness Training

Mu’askar al-Battar features a regular section by this name in which the magazine lays out a regiment of exercises including cardiovascular/endurance and strength training for the mujahideen. Al-Battar states, “There is no doubt physical strength is of the greatest importance in the mujahid’s preparation… fitness training is the first step in any military training.” It goes on to provide Qur’an and Hadith supporting their view of the importance of physical training.

Al-Khafeefah (Refers to Aslihat al-Khafeefah): Light Weaponry

Mu’askar al-Battar has featured detailed articles on the use of light weaponry in combat, which is among the easiest of manufactured weaponry to acquire. They provide a history of the weapons, a breakdown of their component parts, maintenance and safety procedures, and comparative charts of ammunition, range, and accuracy. They also provide the benefits of a given weapon; the Kalashnikov, for example, is “considered the best weapon for storming and invading from the standpoint of strength and durability”.