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In this contribution, the author discusses developments in jihad ideology. First, he takes the reader on a journey back in time, to frame the origin of doctrines concerning jihad in classical Islam and the fundaments of Islamic law. Then, he focuses on the emergence of political Islam, its radicalisation and the new doctrines on jihad that it brought about. We see how “international jihad” emerged as a very special strain of radical political Islam, with al- Qaida and Osama bin Laden as its best known protagonists. The author then zooms in on the discourses of the global jihad, employed to attract radical Muslims into their violent struggle against the enemy. He examines the explicitly political, pragmatic and secular discourse of the so-called second generation of global jihadists, which sings a different tune than the messages that we know from al-Qaida figures like bin Laden or Zawahiri who still embed their call for violent struggle in a religious, Islamic context. It is a discourse that seems to catch on with especially radical youths. Finally, the author looks into the possibilities to utilize discourse as a tool for strategies to counter radicalisation or jihadisation.