Zarqa City’s Impact on Jihadism: Inspecting Salafism’s Role

Wisam Fakhry Hazimeh


Particularly over the past two decades, Salafism, a commonly misunderstood Islamic school of thought, has become synonymous with terrorism. However, in depth and specified research into this transition has largely fallen short of providing a plausible explanation. This also accounts for the inadequate response of regimes and intelligence in countering the ideology of Salafist Jihadism. This study sets out to answer how Salafism turned into Jihadist Salafism, and why specific leaders were able to impact the region and its application of Salafism. This study presents a case study of Zarqa city as the origin of Jihadist Salafism, its most recognised leaders, and the city’s on the regional movements, ISIS and al-Nosra, in order to better understand modern day terror and impact how such a volatile ideology can be primed for a more positive relationship with the Jordanian regime. Following an historical approach, the study considers key geopolitical factors with reference to changing attitudes and identity crises occurring specifically in Zarqa during these periods, revealing how key players such as Nasser Eddin al-Albani, the Arab Afghan mujahidin, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi transformed the face of Jordanian jihadism and global jihadism.


Zarqa, Salafism, Jihadism, al-Albani, Zarqawi, Arab Afghans, ISIS, al-Nosra

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