Jihad and the West

Jihad and the West

Black Flag over Babylon
Mark Silinsky
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/24/2016
Format: Paperback 26 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02712-2
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U.S. Department of Defense analyst Mark Silinsky reveals the origins of the Islamic State's sinister obsession with the Western world. Once considered a minor irritant in the international system, the Caliphate is now a dynamic and significant actor on the world’s stage, boasting more than 30,000 foreign fighters from 86 countries. Recruits consist not only of Middle-Eastern-born citizens, but also a staggering number of "Blue-Eyed Jihadists," Westerners who leave their country to join the radical sect. Silinsky provides a detailed and chilling explanation of the appeal of the Islamic State and how those abroad become radicalized, while also analyzing the historical origins, inner workings, and horrific toll of the Caliphate. By documenting the true stories of men, women, and children whose lives have been destroyed by the radical group, Jihad and the West presents the human face of the thousands who have been kidnapped, raped, tortured, and murdered by the Islamic State, including Kayla Mueller, who was kidnapped, given to the Caliphate’s leader as a sex slave, and ultimately killed.

Author Bio

Mark Silinsky is a veteran analyst in the Department of Defense, an adjunct professor at the United States Army War College, and an affiliate professor at the University of Haifa. He has served in U.S. Army intelligence; as an Army civilian Foreign Area Officer (FAO) for Eurasia, Russian language; an Africa analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency; an action officer for the Joint Staff, J5; and a research fellow as part of the Exceptional Analyst Program. He is the author of The Taliban: Afghanistan’s Most Lethal Insurgent Group.


“US Department of Defense analyst Mark Silinsky reveals the origins of the Islamic State’s sinister obsession with the Western world and provides a detailed and chilling explanation of the State’s tactics to recruit a staggering number of “Blue-Eyed Jihadists,” Westerners who join the radical sect.”

“Curious about the roots of ISIS’ bizarre and self-defeating fanaticism? Here’s the book for you. Silinsky offers a smart, nuanced, personal, and informed account of its rise, revealing its inner logic and its ability to appeal to some Muslims and to horrify the rest of the world.”
 — Daniel Pipes, President of the Middle East Forum

“Using narrative, topic placement, and a pattern of case files, [Silinsky] expertly weaves the story of the current conflict through the points of view of perpetrators, victims, and nations as gathered from public sources.”
 — Journal of Military History

“This is an interesting and well-written comprehensive primer of the full magnitude of the Islamic State’s jihadi war against the West, the extremist religious ideology that animates it, Western Muslim individuals who have been radicalized, indoctrinated, and mobilized to fight on its behalf, and their terrorist operations against the West.”
 — Perspectives on Terrorism, December 2016

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Table of Contents

1. Black Flag over Babylon
2. Eurabia and Beyond: The Caliphate’s Breeding Ground
3. The Caliphate in Western Culture
4. Blue-Eyed Jihad: The Caliphate’s Foreign Legion, Part One
5. Blue-Eyed Jihad: The Caliphate’s Foreign Legion, Part Two
6. Salafist Dystopia: Life in the State
7. The Killing Floor
8. The Caliphate Abroad: The Anglo-Saxons
9. Black Flags Abroad: The French Speakers
Epilogue: "A Taste of Vengeance"

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