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Management of Savagery

2 In practice

Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage
Through Which the Islamic Nation Will Pass (Arabic:
‫ أخطر مرحلة ستمر بها الأمة‬:‫إدارة التوحش‬, Idārat at-Tawaḥḥuš:
Akhṭar marḥalah satamurru bihā l 'ummah),[1] also translated as Administration of Savagery,[1] is a book by
the Islamist strategist Abu Bakr Naji, published on the
Internet in 2004. It aimed to provide a strategy for alQaeda and other extremists whereby they could create a
new Islamic caliphate.[2]

A number of media outlets have compared the attempts
by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to establish territorial control in Iraq and Syria with the strategy outlined
in Management of Savagery.[6][8][9][10] The first issue of
the Islamic State’s online magazine, Dabiq, contained
discussion of guerrilla warfare and tactics that closely
resembled the writings and terminology used in Management of Savagery, although the book was not mentioned directly.[11] Journalist Hassan Hassan, writing in
The Guardian, reported an ISIL-affiliated cleric as saying
that Management of Savagery is widely read among the
group’s commanders and some of its rank-and-file fighters. It was also mentioned by another member of ISIL in
a list of books and ideologues that influence the group.[12]

The real identity of Abu Bakr Naji is claimed by the Al
Arabiya Institute for Studies to be Muhammad Khalil alHakaymah.[3][4] His known works are this piece and some
contributions to the al-Qaeda online magazine Sawt alJihad. National Public Radio has described Naji as a
“top al-Qaida insider” and characterized the work as “alQaida’s playbook”.[5]

1

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been described
by The Jamestown Foundation as following Naji’s guidelines in Yemen,[1] while the book has been mentioned
positively in interviews with members of Somalia's AlShabaab.[13]

Themes

Scholars Brian A. Jackson and Bryce Loidolt argue that
Management of Savagery and Mustafa Setmariam Nasar's
The Global Islamic Resistance Call led al-Qaeda to innoManagement of Savagery discusses the need to create and
vate and shift practices.[14]
manage nationalist and religious resentment and violence
in order to create long-term propaganda opportunities for
jihadist groups. Notably, Naji discusses the value of provoking military responses from superpowers in order to 3 See also
recruit and train guerilla fighters and to create martyrs.
Naji suggests that a long-lasting strategy of attrition will
• Al Qaeda Handbook
reveal fundamental weaknesses in the ability of superpowers to defeat committed jihadists.[6]

4 References

Management of Savagery argues that carrying out a campaign of constant violent attacks in Muslim states will
eventually exhaust their ability and will to enforce their
authority, and that as the writ of the state withers away,
chaos—or “savagery”—will ensue. Jihadists can take
advantage of this savagery to win popular support, or
at least acquiescence, by implementing security, providing social services, and imposing Sharia. As these
territories increase, they can become the nucleus of a
new caliphate.[2][6] Naji nominated Jordan, Saudi Arabia,
Yemen, North Africa, Nigeria and Pakistan as potential
targets, due to their geography, weak military presence in
remote areas, existing jihadist presence, and easy accessibility of weapons.[7]

[1] Ryan, Michael W. S. (28 January 2010). “Al-Qaeda’s
Purpose in Yemen Described in Works of Jihad Strategists”. Terrorism Monitor. 8 (4.): The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
[2] Wright, Lawrence (16 June 2014). “ISIS’s Savage Strategy in Iraq”. The New Yorker. Retrieved 1 September
2014.
[3] ‫والملاذات الآمنة للإرهاب من نظام الأسد إلى إمارة‬..‫إدارة التوحش‬
!‫داعش‬. Al Arabiya Institute for Studies (in Arabic). 16
May 2014.
[4] Nesira,Hani (6 July 2013).
“From Agassi to Al
Nusra..Assad experience in jihadi investment!". Al Arabiya Institute for Studies. Retrieved 15 September 2014.

Naji professes to have been inspired by Ibn Taymiyya, the
influential 14th-century Islamic scholar and theologian.[6]
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Brachman et al. But there is a brutal logic behind it”. “Isis has reached new depths of depravity. Retrieved 27 October 2014. [8] McCoy. 25 (2): 284–310. “Al Qaeda Is Doing Nation-Building. 5 External links • Rising Leader for Next Phase of Al Qaeda’s War NYTimes April 4. (2013). “Al-Qaida’s Playbook”. Terrence McCoy (12 August 2014). Retrieved 1 September 2014.(subscription required) [14] Loidolt. The New Yorker. [6] Wright. Combating Terrorism Center EXTERNAL LINKS . “The 'Mein Kampf' of Jihad”. Retrieved 28 September 2014. Recruitment Patterns and Guerrilla Doctrine”. Brian A. The Guardian. David. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 1 August 2014.2 5 [5] Sullivan. The Washington Post. Washington Post. [13] McCants. Terrorism and Political Violence. [9] Alastair. “The calculated madness of the Islamic State’s horrifying brutality”. The Jamestown Foundation. doi:10. Retrieved 1 September 2014. “Considering al-Qa'ida’s Innovation Doctrine: From Strategic Texts to “Innovation in Practice"". [12] Hassan. “The ISIS' 'Management of Savagery' in Iraq”. Crooke (30 June 2014). Lawrence (11 September 2006). The Huffington Post.1080/09546553.. Jarret M. NPR. [11] “Dabiq: What Islamic State’s New Magazine Tells Us about Their Strategic Direction. Jackson. Fouad (22 August 2014). “The Master Plan”. Laura (26 June 2006). Retrieved 1 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014. [7] al-Ibrahim. [10] Ignatius. 2008 • The Management of Savagery English Translation • Stealing Al‐Qa'ida’s Playbook Overview. William (30 April 2012).662557. Hassan (8 February 2015). “Why ISIS is a threat to Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism’s deferred promise”. Foreign Policy. Bryce. Al Akhbar (Lebanon). Should We Worry?".2012.

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