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Stanley McChrystal mentioned a long time ago," which is that "combating an insurgent movement requires a different way of figuring out impact. Read more: 'We are losing': Trump and his top advisors aren't publicly admitting how bad things are in Afghanistan.

The Islamic State (Terrorist Organization)

Valeriano said that if there's a "vision of victory in the modern combat zone," which has become increasingly convoluted, then "it has to include more than simply enemy combatant deaths but also attention to aide and welfare, making the situation better and less hopeless so the desire for violence is minimized. Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent and terrorism expert, seems to believe the war on terror is a never-ending, hopeless cause for the US. Soufan told INSIDER most of America's victories in the "global war on terror" have been "ephemeral and fleeting," which is linked to the fact many of the related conflicts the US is engaged in have a "fiercely local component to them.

Osama bin Laden. Based on the current status of jihadist extremism and the various conflicts occurring across the Muslim world, Soufan added that the US has clearly failed to kill Osama bin Laden's ideology even though it succeeded in assassinating him. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Search icon A magnifying glass. It indicates, "Click to perform a search". Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.

The theory is based on the assumption that al-Qaeda had no involvement in several prominent terrorist attacks carried out between and , and that these attacks were, instead, orchestrated by local militant groups that shared a common worldview with al-Qaeda but little else. These attacks include the Bali bombings, the attacks on an Israeli-owned hotel and airline in Mombasa, multiple attacks in Turkey in , the Riyadh bombings, and the Madrid bombings. The claim that al-Qaeda was not involved in these attacks appears less credible when each attack is scrutinized:. Though KSM enjoyed significant autonomy while he was in Karachi, he continued to coordinate with and seek approval from bin Laden.

According to The Exile, bin Laden surreptitiously traveled to Karachi in late to meet with Mohammed. It also highlights his extraordinary freedom of movement in the settled areas of Pakistan. At best, the premises upon which the theory that al-Qaeda had been transformed into a movement are based are oversimplified.

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Al-Qaeda actually played a role in most of the major jihadist attacks that occurred between late and The organization leveraged its financial, logistical and operational networks to enable and direct attacks on multiple continents. But there is Al Qaedaism. This is a powerful ideology that drives local groups to do what they think Osama bin Laden wants. This was the page treatise in which Suri articulated his theory of leaderless jihad, which, as explained earlier, al-Qaeda explicitly rejected.

There, they met with senior al-Qaeda member Abu Ubaydah al-Masri, who convinced the two men to carry out an attack in England. Rashid Rauf, a British al-Qaeda operative, then took responsibility for overseeing the logistical and operational aspects of the plot, remaining in contact with Tanweer and Khan after they returned to the UK, and coaching the men as they built their explosives.

It means the investigation was either wrong, or they identified links but were reluctant to reveal them. To the contrary, the theory gained new life as al-Qaeda embarked on its next phase of organizational development. Senior leaders of al-Qaeda always had trepidations about Zarqawi.

In the first letter, Ayman al-Zawahiri urged Zarqawi to build public support, and to avoid inflaming tensions with the Shia. The interactions between Al-Qaeda Central, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and AQI illustrate both the organizational opportunities and challenges that al-Qaeda faced then and continues to face now, as it continues to expand its geographical reach and formalize its relationship with allied jihadist groups across the globe.

On the one hand, the strategy of developing alliances made it possible for al-Qaeda to project its influence into new theaters, demonstrate or, in some cases, simply create the perception of momentum, and expand the pool of resources on which it could draw. It also helped al-Qaeda move closer to its foundational goal of becoming the vanguard organization. Al-Qaeda could provide strategic and ideological guidance to organizations under its umbrella, thus giving it greater influence and control over the trajectory of the jihadist movement.

One challenge that al-Qaeda encountered, for example, was its ability to establish and then maintain lines of communications with an ever-growing number of affiliates. While the organization employed couriers to communicate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the courier strategy has proven riskier and less reliable when communicating with affiliates in Iraq and other countries further afield from the senior leadership. Couriers tasked with passing letters between al-Qaeda leadership and its affiliates were sometimes arrested, and the content of their communications were revealed to the public.

In some cases, security conditions actually prevented al-Qaeda from dispatching envoys who, in contrast to couriers, are formal representatives to meet with affiliates. Affiliates could, in certain circumstances, also be left unaware of dictates issued by al-Qaeda Central, and thus, adopt measures that unintentionally undercut the interests of the organization as determined by senior leaders.

This could then result in missed opportunities and strategic confusion. For affiliates that disagreed with and wanted to ignore strategic advice from al-Qaeda Central, real communications issues served as an ideal excuse for actions that contravened the dictates of senior leadership. The decision to acquire affiliates also raised the possibility that al-Qaeda would experience preference divergence and strategic incoherence.

Prior to its geographic expansion, the risk and potential impact of preference divergence between al-Qaeda and its affiliates were limited. Field commanders tasked with conducting attacks abroad were often hand-picked by bin Laden or by one of his lieutenants. But geographic expansion increased the possibility that affiliates would have interests that differed significantly from those of al-Qaeda Central. Local cultural, social and political dynamics have a profound effect on the strategy, tactics, and concerns of affiliates.

Affiliates may be inclined to prioritize their local considerations over the global agenda of al-Qaeda Central. Preference divergence may also result from regional commanders who begin to view themselves as autonomous from—or even superior to—the core organization. Al-Qaeda Central can use sticks and carrots—like withholding funds and other resources—to deter affiliates from going rogue, but such coercive power is greatly diminished when affiliates develop alternative sources of funding.

Some affiliates have control over their own media outlets, which can effectively restrict the ability of al-Qaeda Central to sustain a common narrative across all public lines of communication. By , al-Qaeda was widely perceived as deeply fragmented and decentralized. For example, a powerful Iraqi-based militant group thought it advantageous to bring the al-Qaeda brand to Iraq.

What were the immediate financial implications of this decision? In doing so, the affiliates are given considerable autonomy with only limited oversight. It seems, though, that in the post-Edward Snowden world, al-Qaeda may be capable of communicating with its affiliates daily if need be. Al-Qaeda Central has, in many regards, effectively managed its affiliates. Rather than over-interpreting well-known cases in which preference divergence between al-Qaeda and its affiliates produced open conflict, it is worth asking why this does not occur more frequently.

At the time, Bruce Hoffman argued that public pronouncements by individuals who did not have the opportunity to view the entirety of the Abbottabad document collection should have been far more cautious, especially since their assessments were at odds with the initial conclusions drawn by intelligence officials. These discrepancies were resolved when new tranches of documents were released—in , , and The insights that the Abbottabad documents have provided include the following revelations:. These revelations from the Abbottabad documents highlight the need for a more nuanced assessment of the historical relationship between al-Qaeda Central and its Iraqi affiliate.

For instance, Godane was consulted on the merits of the Mauritanian truce proposal, a sensitive subject that would have only been shared with official affiliates. Evidence gathered prior to the Abbottabad raid also supports this interpretation. The collapse of autocratic regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya presented al-Qaeda with an unprecedented opportunity to expand its presence into countries that had previously been difficult to penetrate. Al-Qaeda also understood that it had to be cautious as it built its networks in North Africa.

Any public advertisement of its activities in the region risked triggering attention from local and international security forces. Al-Qaeda did not want to risk having its nascent affiliates outlawed before they hit a critical mass. Al-Qaeda, therefore, opted for a covert growth strategy. The group would deploy envoys to countries affected by the Arab Spring and establish affiliates there, but no public announcement about these new relationships would be made.

The covert affiliates—which included Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, the Ansar al-Sharia factions in the eastern Libyan cities of Benghazi and Derna, and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria—were instructed to mask their links with al-Qaeda. In the immediate post-Arab Spring period, however, analysts were slow to recognize the relationship between al-Qaeda Central and its covert affiliates. While the intelligence community immediately concluded that al-Qaeda had been involved in the attack, spokespeople for the Obama administration initially declared that the attack occurred when spontaneous protests escalated into violence.

Why did some observers initially conclude that the Ansar al-Sharia factions in Libya and Tunisia were not linked organizationally to al-Qaeda? At least three factors explain this error. First, al-Qaeda was largely successful in masking its ties, at least initially, with its covert affiliates. This impulse to view regional events through an optimistic lens where jihadism was concerned, coupled with the assumption that the organization was struggling to assert its relevance in this new environment, may well have helped lead the analytic community to miss critical signs that al-Qaeda was pursuing a covert growth strategy as it sought to gain a foothold in post-revolutionary countries.

In the case of Libya, Western governments actually stepped in to topple Qaddafi; while they did not intervene at all when Hosni Mubarak fell in Egypt. The enormous opportunities that exist for al-Qaeda in the post-Arab Spring world mean that attacks against Western countries may be deprioritized for the time being, as the jihadist movement exploits opportunities in the region.

The dramatic rise of ISIS thereafter led many observers to conclude that the breakaway group had usurped its parent organization between and , and that various al-Qaeda branches would likely break away and join ISIS. This time, however, it showed resilience in an area where analysts had previously been skeptical about its capabilities: in the relationship between parent organization and affiliates. Only time will tell which of these two countervailing considerations will prove more decisive in resolving the conflict with HTS , and managing other affiliate relationships beyond Syria.

While questions persist about the direction that the jihadist movement will take—questions magnified by the fact that jihadist organizations are clandestine in nature—al-Qaeda has, thus far, been able to sustain an overall trend toward greater relevance.

Inside the mind of a former radical jihadist - Manwar Ali

This article outlines the formula that the organization has followed to remain important. In order to stop almost willfully perceiving al-Qaeda as weak, we must continue to work towards better understanding how the organization actually functions. Equipped with more accurate analyses, we will put ourselves in a position to more effectively weaken al-Qaeda. The dichotomy between Kemalism and Islamism is one of the dominant paradigms in studies of Turkish politics Christine Fair.

Praveen Swami. In the article, Azzam explained the need to have a vanguard to bring about revolution in the Islamic world: For every invention there must be a vanguard to carry it forward and, while forcing its way into society, endure enormous expenses and costly sacrifices. The Jihadist Behemoth In Afghanistan from to , al-Qaeda reached its high point as a hierarchical and bureaucratic organization.

Al-Qaeda in Flux In November , several senior al-Qaeda leaders and associates gathered for a meeting in Iran, where the organization had found space to continue operating after the U. Luayy Sakka, a veteran al-Qaeda member who also maintained close ties with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, financed the operations, and housed some of the operatives who fled Turkey to Syria after the attacks. Those bombings may in fact have been ordered by Saif al-Adel and other al-Qaeda commanders based in Iran.

The insights that the Abbottabad documents have provided include the following revelations: Around May , bin Laden ordered a senior al-Qaeda commander to establish external operations wings throughout Africa that would allow al-Qaeda to target Western and U. Bin Laden also often instructed affiliates to refrain from targeting states with which al-Qaeda was not engaged in active conflict. Bin Laden involved himself in tactical and operational decisions, which is why some in the intelligence community characterized him as a micromanager.

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For instance, in late , bin Laden wrote two letters to Atiyah instructing his subordinates to move al-Qaeda operatives out of North and South Waziristan, two tribal agencies that were under constant surveillance by American drones, and to safer locations in Pakistan and the eastern Afghan provinces of Nuristan, Kunar, Ghazni and Zabul. Though bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders based in Pakistan experienced challenges trying to communicate with affiliates and operatives in the Middle East and North Africa, they developed a way to overcome these difficulties.

In a letter, bin Laden explained that the two couriers whom he used to pass statements to the media were only willing to carry messages every three months, and he asked a subordinate to identify other means of publicizing his statements. The story is a relationship, rather than an action tale, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene.

When I read the quote it fitted perfectly in to that particular scene. The relationship aspect of the story has not created a standard romantic novel, it is different, because the author creates tension between each of the characters as he pushes the story to its final conclusion. It is a sharp concise novel that will entertain and linger in the mind after you have read the final page. The story captivated me from the first few pages as I read his descriptions of the medical areas behind the lines in WW1.

The author brought the whole horror of this war to life. Campbell has the ability to capture the period, regardless of the decade.

The Islamic State (Terrorist Organization) | RAND

The historic detail enhances the story without overwhelming the reader with facts. A love story to be read and enjoyed at leisure. Rating this book as a five star read was no effort at all. I could feel the damp, smell the river, and feel the fear of being out and about after dark during those dark days. A must read for those who love accurate historic fiction. The author has recreated the time and the place, and the life style of the various levels of society. The main character is a young woman who is being manoeuvred in to marriage because of a shameful act that was not her fault.

I found myself wishing this young woman would take a swing at certain family members, but of course this was , not I read this book on a Kindle while travelling and I would regale my wife with bits and pieces of the story.

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Once I started the story I found it hard not to keep reading the next page and the next and so on, even at the risk of lost sleep. It seems to me that The Tuzla Run is tailor made for an action movie. Far Away Home is a joy to read. Within the time it took to read the first page I was in to the story. Meeting the main character, Aislynn, in New York, is to step back in time.

In her desire for accuracy, I believe Denning drove a covered wagon through similar terrain as did her main character when she crossed the wide open spaces between New York and Utah. Denning experienced the trials of such transport and her personal experience adds credibility to the story.

The relationship between the characters moves the story steadily forward. They became real to this reader, so much so, that I was quite sad to reach the end of the book.