Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Ashleen Williams

Second Advisor

Emily Fransee

Third Advisor

John Winkle

Relational Format



The Israeli occupation of Palestine and its impact on the proliferation and longevity of transnational Salafi jihad is largely underestimated in current literature. In this thesis, I argue that Palestine, defined as both the nation and physical borders before the Balfour Declaration, largely contributed to the twentieth century revival of transnational Salafi jihad and is used by both Al Qaeda and ISIS as liberation and annihilation movements, respectively. In order to assess the motivational and organizational influences of the Israeli occupation of Palestine on transnational Salafi jihad, I examine the works of Abdullah Azzam, a selection of Osama Bin Laden’s fatwas, and open source recruitment propaganda from Al Qaeda and ISIS. In considering this selection of primary source material, I found that Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the conflict in general has made substantial motivational and organizational contributions to both the proliferation and longevity of transnational Salafi jihadi movements and, in this case, Al Qaeda and ISIS and each organization’s respective grand strategies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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