The Western powers are the chief targets of a global Islamic jihad. Once believed to be a relic of history, the notion of Islamic jihad regained a political role in the 1980s. There are multiple meanings of the term jihad. While “great jihad” implies peaceful activity “small jihad” denotes the use of violence. There has never been a war in which Christians and Muslims have participated where the latter has not appealed to the slogan of holy war. The failure of Iran’s “white revolution” in 1979 set the stage for development of violent strategies against the West. The Chechen conflict is an isolated instance of separatism rather than a part of a “world Jihad”, as the Russian political establishment maintains.
Malashenko, Alexei; Bowers, Stephen R.; and Ciobanu, Valeria, "Encyclopedia of Jihad" (2001). Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 24.