Are we really seeing the rise of a ‘new jihad’?

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


In a BBC interview just after the recent Manchester suicide bombing, French scholar Gilles Kepel offered a three-stage chronology of the development “jihadi” activism. The first stage he identified emerged in 1979, around the time of the Iranian revolution, and failed to mobilise the pious masses. It was followed, he says, by a second stage, largely defined by the notorious acts of al-Qaeda.

Now, Kepel’s analysis goes, we are living in a third stage, one that began in the mid-2000s with the 2004 publication of Abu Musab al-Suri’s The Global Islamic Resistance Call. Al-Suri’s writings point to many of the distinctive organisational and strategic features of recent attacks in Europe and elsewhere, in particular the “individual jihadi” – commonly referred to in the media as the “lone wolf”.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Samantha May is a Leverhulme Early Careers Research Fellow.


  • Terrorism
  • Jihad
  • Extremism
  • Islamic State
  • Jihadism
  • Islamist terrorism
  • Islamism
  • Manchester attack


Dive into the research topics of 'Are we really seeing the rise of a ‘new jihad’?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this