Bin Laden’s Henchmen: Al Qa’ida’s Commanding Officers who are Leading the Global Jihad

Sarah Catanzaro Professor Martha Crenshaw, Advisor Interschool Honors Program in International Security Studies Center for International Security and Cooperation Stanford University


Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………...4 Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………....5 Chapter 1: Building a Complex Organization………………………………………....6 I. II. III. IV. Evolution of Al Qa’ida’s Organizational Structure…………………………………..7 A Description of Complex Organizations………………………………...…………..12 The Role of “Mergers and Acquisitions”………………………..…………………...13 Initial Thoughts on Policy Implications……………………………………………….15

Chapter 2: Literature Review………………………………………………………….17 I. II. Literature on Al Qa’ida’s Foreign Affiliates…………………………………………17 Literature on Joining Radical Movements……………………………………………20 A. Ideological motivations………………………………………………20 B. Psychosocial motivations…………………………………………….22 C. Strategic/opportunistic motivations………………………………….23 Literature on Terrorist Leadership…………………………………………………….25 A. The personality of terrorist leaders…………………………………..25 B. Targeting leadership………………………………………………….26


Chapter 3: Methodology………………………………………………………………..28 I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. Background……………………………………………………………………………….28 Assessing Q1……………………………………………………………………………...30 Assessing Q2……………………………………………………………………………...38 Developing the Universe of Cases……………………………………………………..40 Selection of Study Subjects……………………………………………………………...42 Problems Regarding Information Gathering…………………………………………43 Case Study………………………………………………………………………………...44 Relevance………………………………………………………………………………….44

Chapter 4: Universe of Cases…………………………………………………………..46 I. II. III. IV. Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: An Evolving Network…………………………………………46 Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: The Geographic Distribution………………………………..53 Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: Mergers? Partnerships? Or Collaborations?...................57 Summary of Findings…………………………………………………………………….59

Chapter 5: Results of Statistical Hypothesis Testing…………………………………60 I. II. Data Analysis and Results for Q1: What motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida’s and its pan-Islamic agenda?.......................................................60 Data Analysis and Results for Q2: What type of role do local jihadist leaders play within Al Qa’ida’s network when the organization for which they are responsible affiliates with Al Qa’ida……………………………………………………………….. 61


Chapter 6: Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb and Abdelmalek Droukdal – A Well Executed Merger…………………………………………………………………………………64 I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. The Origins of Islamic Violence in Algeria after the War of Independence……...64 The Birth of the Salvation Islamic Front……………………………………………...65 The Beginnings of the GIA and the Onset of an Epoch of Violence……………….66 An Alternative Emerges: The Origins of the GSPC…………………………………67 Fissions Form Within the GSPC……………………………………………………….67 The Rise of Droukdal…………………………………………………………………….71 Droukdal’s Program: Toward Global Jihad……………………………...………….73 The Announcement of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb………………..………...77 A New Organization……………………………………………………………………..78 Final Observations………………………………………………………………………80

Chapter 7: Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya: The Unrealized Merger………………………83 I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. The Emergence of the GAI from the Ashes of the Muslim Brotherhood………….83 The Sadat Assassination………………………………………………………………...84 Crackdown under Mubarak…………………………………………………………….84 Campaign of Terror……………………………………………..………………………85 Collapse of an Armed Group…………………………………………………………...86 Reconciliation…………………………………………………………………………….88 Explaining the Decision not to Affiliate with Al Qa’ida…………………………….89 Final Observations………………………………………………………………………91

Chapter 8: Conclusion and Discussion – Al Qa’ida’s Commanding Officers: A Skilled Management Team……………………………………………………………………..93 Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………...107 Appendix I: List of Terrorist Groups………………………………………………..115 Appendix II: Sources by Terrorist Group…………………………………………...116 Appendix III: Commanding Officer Attribute Codebook……………………….....135 Appendix IV: Commanding Officer Attributes……………………………………..136 Appendix V: Data on Universe of Cases……………………………………………..138 Appendix VI: Data on Q1…………………………………………………………….139 Appendix VII: Data on Q2……………………………………………………………140


Based on this analysis. rather than ideological concerns are the primary motivating factors for joining Al Qa’ida. after these affiliations occur. only in recent years. this paper offers some broad recommendations regarding the future conduct of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). shared visions become essential. has Osama Bin Laden increasingly relied upon these franchises to prosecute his panIslamic struggle. This paper examines first the motivations of local jihadist groups who associate with Al Qa’ida to understand the transformation that Al Qa’ida has achieved.Abstract: Al Qa’ida has allied with indigenous terrorist groups for over a decade. However. 4 . The local jihadist leaders who become Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers ensure ideological alignment with Al Qa’ida. It then focuses on the role that local jihadist leaders play in the aftermath of the affiliation to shed further light on Al Qa’ida’s current strategy and operations. The conclusion of this paper finds that while opportunistic.

but most importantly for serving as an incredible mentor. I would have been hardpressed to get this project done in anything like a timely fashion had it not been for this program. a traditionally male-dominated discipline. I am also grateful to Dara Kay Cohen. the members of my community began to dig themselves literally and metaphorically from the ruins of the 9/11 disaster. I want to recognize my community. who is currently a junior in high school. Through the CISAC seminars. and more recently into the making of this thesis. I have been so fortunate to benefit from their generosity and acumen. Professor Crenshaw lives as a role model for the next generation of female investigators researching international security. Thank you so much for your patience. Thus. Since my sophomore year at Stanford. Admiration should be earned. and Professor Crenshaw most certainly earned mine through her impressive career. and with enthusiasm. I would also like to thank my brother. Professors Stockton and May helped me clarify and expand my views about this project on numerous occasions. I dedicate my thesis to the population of Port Washington. Without a doubt. she has offered me practical and affectionate support. Port Washington. I would like to thank Colonel Joseph Felter and Jarrett Brachman who introduced me to several primary and secondary documents. Finally. New York which was tragically impacted by the September 11. I would be remiss not to acknowledge my parents. It gives me great pleasure to thank Professors Paul Stockton and Michael May for the opportunity to participate in the CISAC Interschool Honors Program. I was so fortunate to have had Dara around as an academic example and important mentor. There were cars parked at our train station that were never recovered and fathers and mothers who never returned from work. this project would have been poorer without her invaluable comments. I have benefited particularly from communications with Professor Martha Crenshaw. I distinctly remember the sense of dissociation and unreality as we struggled to understand how our beloved Twin Towers were destroyed. not given. I have had the opportunity to try out some of my ideas and receive valuable criticism from my peers. and coaching. In addition. This solidarity and resiliency consolidated my faith in humanity and sparked my interest in homeland security studies. Moreover. at length. Acts of kindness and heroism became increasingly visible in my community as people mobilized to help one another. I hope that a general acknowledgement here of the wisdom and understanding may be counted to me for righteousness. Their constant support. Moreover. Yet despite a pervasive sense of insecurity. Professor Crenshaw helped answer my questions promptly. 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. These sources proved to be a treasure-chest indeed. he continues to inspire me every day with his thoughtfulness and intelligence. 5 . Despite his youth. both personal and intellectual is more important than can adequately be acknowledge in such a brief note.Acknowledgements: The ideas of more people than I can possibly mention have affected my thinking about terrorist organizations and Al Qa’ida over the years. how friends and neighbors had disappeared and presumably perished during this devastating attack on America’s soil. who listened to my presentations with great attention and offered so many thoughtful suggestions and useful comments. for whom I would also like to show gratitude. She also put at my disposal her insights on numerous topics. objectivity.

However. Al Qa’ida utilizes a mix of both loose and tight coupling to attain a remarkable degree of adaptability. Al Qa’ida was a relatively centralized organization that used Afghanistan as a base from which to strategize. and depend upon each other. Currently. An organization characterized by “loose coupling” has cells that are relatively autonomous and independent. most fail to assess the exchange relationships that distinguish Al Qa’ida. While each perspective has its merits. Dishman 2005). Ronfeldt 2005. Al Qa’ida’s structure and degree of centralization may fluctuate within a period of months or weeks.Stern 2003). A few dominant camps have emerged within this scholarly debate. Moreover. Although most scholars perceive Al Qa’ida as an organization in stasis. they fail to acknowledge that this combination of loose and tight coupling has enabled Al Qa’ida to become a modern hydra that readily adapts to changes in its environment. In contrast. Thus. Others suggest that Al Qa’ida has become a decentralized network of individualized and local cells bound together exclusively by common beliefs (Diebert and Stein 2003. an organization characterized by “tight coupling” includes cells that associate intimately. communicate often. all oversimplify the command configuration utilized by Al Qa’ida. One can 6 .Chapter 1: Building a Complex Organization Prior to the September 11. Al Qa’ida has transformed into a more ambiguous entity that scholars cannot easily define. and to dispatch operatives worldwide. to plan attacks. 2001 attacks. Gunaratna 2004). since the onset of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). The first maintains that Al Qa’ida Central Command retains ideological and operational control over the organization and preserves a certain degree of tactical influence. Some scholars even contend that the main threat no longer emanates from Al Qa’ida but from unassociated radicalized individuals and groups who meet and plot in their neighborhoods and on the Internet (Sageman 2008.

therefore classify Al Qa’ida as a complex organization a concept that will be elaborated in this chapter (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2003). One method whereby Al Qa’ida achieves such adaptability is by merging or partnering with local jihadist groups. Moreover. Although Al Qa’ida has cooperated with local jihadist groups for years. 2001. these external relationships enabled Al Qa’ida to transform into a complex organization. recently. since the onset of the Global War on Terror. Ayman Zawahiri and the core of Al Qa’ida. It is important to analyze these individuals because they have assumed more authority since September 11. By defining the new structure of Al Qa’ida (characterized by loosely integrated and operationally attached subunits. Al Qa’ida has begun to depend on these affiliates to obtain organizational flexibility to a considerable extent. characterized by an efficient blend of both tight and loose coupling. each led by a commanding officer). However. the conclusions drawn from this analysis may present policymakers with new and novel ways of targeting Al Qa’ida and its partners. This study will draw upon open source and primary source information to understand why and how Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers promote the pan-Islamic agenda. Evolution of Al Qa’ida’s Organizational Structure: 7 . and identifying and assessing the role of the commanders who interact with Osama Bin Laden. distinguishing the groups with which Al Qa’ida is strongly associated. Al Qa’ida has affiliated with indigenous terrorist groups for almost twenty years. this study may affect the allocation of resources in Washington for counterterrorism efforts. I. This study will examine the incentives and role of former local jihadist group leaders who now serve as Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers.

Pakistan to serve as a hostel for Arabs coming to fight the Soviets and as a press agency to produce propaganda to promote jihad. established an office in Peshawar. Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia as a hero of jihad. Osama bin Laden. The shura majilis (consultative assembly) received information from four subordinate committees designed to direct specific segments of planning and operations. which had rebuffed his offer to defend the kingdom. The Services Bureau (“Maktab al Khadamat”) provided travel funds and guesthouses in Pakistan for recruits and volunteers to facilitate the struggle against the Soviet forces. training. The finance committee oversaw and developed financial resources. At the conclusion of the Soviet-Afghan war. developing a membership roster and establishing a hierarchical arrangement to guide and oversee its functions (Riedel 2008). However. in 1991. The organization was centered upon the “shura” (i. Bin Laden was disenchanted with his native Saudi Arabia. This council promoted common goals. after the liberation of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein by the American-led multinational army. and launching support and military operations. He relocated to the Sudan at the invitation of the government of Hassan Turabi and the National Islamic Front. coordinated targets. a large number of jihadists from the Middle East traveled to Afghanistan to combat the Soviet Union. procuring. However. most of whom he knew since his formative days in Afghanistan. it was not until the summer of 1988.e. a multimillionaire from a wealthy Saudi family. and Abdullah Azzam. The religious committee justified Al 8 . advisory council) consisting of Bin Laden’s closest associates. Bin Laden expanded the Al Qa’ida organization. In the Sudan. and authorized asset sharing for terrorist operations.In the 1980s. an Islamic scholar and founding member of the Kashmiri jihadist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. that Bin Laden began calling his cadre al Qaeda al Askariya (“the military base”) and developing a greater organizational structure (Riedel 2008). The military committee was responsible for recruiting.

it would be assigned to a carefully selected cell headed by a senior Al Qa’ida operative who reported personally to Bin Laden (Wright 2007). Bin Laden personally recruited the plot’s 9 . Finally. Bin Laden left the Sudan to return to Afghanistan as a result of combined pressure from the United States. Once a specific operation was decided upon. Afghanistan’s lack of central government provided Bin Laden with greater leeway to pursue his agenda and centralize his operations. In May 1996. The plot to attack the United State began in 1999 after Al Qa’ida executed the simultaneous bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. and the Capitol Building. although Al Qa’ida also assisted two other Salafi terrorist groups during this formative period in the Sudan. Bin Laden was able to forge his closest alliance yet with the Taliban by providing it with significant financial and human resources to support the ongoing war against other factions in northern Afghanistan. Al Qa’ida’s former propaganda chief. other western governments. 2001 attacks against the United States (Bergen 2002). Bin Laden cemented his ties to Ayman Zawahiri. and Libya. the media committee produced propaganda intended to generate Muslim support for the organization and its objectives (Harmony Database Released Documents: Al Qa'ida Goals and Structure 2006). the Pentagon. In May 1997. The September 11. Egypt. Al Qa’ida could be classified as a centralized organization. Thus. Bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. hatched the plan to target the Twin Towers. Moreover.Qa’ida’s actions and operations within the theological parameters of Al Qa’ida model of Islam. the last emir of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. in its earlier incarnation. 2001 attacks reveal the former nature of Al Qa’ida’s decision-making apparatus. thereby strengthening Al Qa’ida Central Command and forming a close-knit group of jihadists uniquely capable of executing terror operations like the September 11. Saudi Arabia. all three of which faced indigenous terrorist groups supported by Bin Laden.

The shura concluded that a decentralized. Mohammed Atta as well as the fifteen operatives who would intimidate the passengers during the airline hijackings. for instance. Although Bin Laden and Al Qa’ida considered 9/11 an astonishing success. After the first year of the GWOT and the ouster of the Taliban from Afghanistan. he personally handled other elements of the conspiracy. Al Qa’ida allegedly convened a strategic summit in northern Iran at which the shura recognized that Al Qa’ida could no longer function as a hierarchy. Prior to 9/11. which used Afghanistan as a base from which to carry out major operations against American targets and did not significantly depend upon its affiliates to support its operations in the Middle East. Al Qa’ida was a centralized organization. Mullah Omar in the preparation (Riedel 2008).tactical leader. many Al Qa’ida leaders were imprisoned. the attacks precipitated the Global War on Terror (GWOT). While they operated in support of centralized directives. From this point forward. In November 2002. 2006). networked terrorist organizations would be less vulnerable to traditional counterterrorism measures used by hierarchically organized security forces. When operations are so decentralized. Nevertheless. Al Qa’ida soon learned that there are limitations to a strictly decentralized structure. they established their own individual plans (Felter et al. composed of less than ten operatives. detached from Al Qa’ida Central Command and other cells. These arrests led to subsequent arrests of other senior officers. individual cells. it becomes particularly difficult to maintain 10 . Captives revealed the names of their commanders and associates thereby highlighting the need for loose coupling between local operatives and Al Qa’ida’s executive leadership in order to evade government interference and limit the consequences of any further compromises. Additionally. he engaged the Taliban and its leader. were instructed to develop their own organizational structures.

Al Qa’ida could not effectively monitor its agents’ activities. Thus. rather than consolidating its victory in Afghanistan. nor could it punish renegade agents (Felter. the U. the US allowed Al Qa’ida to reconstitute itself in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Brachman. these low-level operatives sought more violence than was useful due to the cognitive dynamics of an underground organization. Often. These commanding officers ensure that preference divergence does not result in the loss of 11 . prior to the invasion of Iraq. competition for prominence within the movement. However. Moreover.situational awareness and control the use of violence to achieve specific political ends. Al Qa’ida faced challenges when Central Command was forced to delegate certain duties to low level operatives. Perkins. and their own talent at conducting aggressive attacks (Shapiro 2007). As the result of restoration of central control. In 2002 and 2003. after five Kashmiri terrorists attacked Lok Sabha. India began to mobilize along the border. Al Qa’ida can rely upon closer relations with its commanding officers (the former leaders of indigenous terrorist groups). decision to go to war with Iraq and the Pakistani decision to provoke a crisis with India allowed Al Qa’ida to survive by regaining a degree of centralization. Al Qa’ida leadership found itself cornered along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and unable to coordinate its low-level operatives. Bramlett.S. the lower house of India’s parliament in New Delhi. and Fishman 2006). Al Qa’ida was able to reestablish some of its pre-9/11 operational capabilities by exploiting Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Riedel 2008). who espoused different personal preferences. thereby provoking Pakistan to divert to the east troops that were needed in the west. complex organization. who are the most important link in the formation of a resilient. Within a decentralized framework. Like most other organizations. Invading Iraq diverted troops from the mission of finding Al Qa’ida’s leadership.

By contrast. Al Qa’ida is a true “complex organization”). today.operational success or security. qualified by loosely coupled systems. the relationships between cells and between operatives and Al Qa’ida Central Command are loosely coupled. and large size dictated its organizational decisions. Before Al Qa’ida Central Command reorganized itself in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Although a decentralized organization form was more appropriate and prudent after 9/11. it was not very efficient. Unlike strictly centralized organizations. While the relationships within the cells are tightly coupled. complex organizations can exploit a diversity of systems (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2001). Complex organizations are composed of a diversity of agents. Al Qa’ida now relies heavily upon semiautonomous cells found in operational territories that are horizontally and vertically integrated into the centralized command structure. intricate nature of resource gathering and allocation. Al Qa’ida continues to morph into a complexly structure organization (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006). Al Qa’ida’s demand for operational secrecy. who interact with and mutually affect one another. While it is difficult to 12 . highly visible organizational personnel. Empowered by the establishment of its safe haven in Pakistan and increased reliance upon its commanding officers. the relationship between its commanding officers and central authorities were also loosely coupled (thus. qualified by tightly coupled systems or exclusively decentralized organizations. This flexible structure allows the Central Command to maintain control over specifically identified strategic operations through its commanding officers while enabling cells to maintain their autonomy in local and regional operations (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006). the relationship between Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers and central authorities are moderately coupled (thus. II. A Description of Complex Organizations: As this history indicates. Al Qa’ida was effectively a decentralized network).

and Fishman 2006). III. Al Qa’ida theorist Abu Musab al-Suri noted the importance of a highly trained cadre of senior commanding officers. or collaborates with a local jihadist groups. partners. Al Qa’ida has achieved an optimal combination of coupling. it employs the groups’ leaders as its commanding officers and integrates them into Al Qa’ida Central Command by establishing communication channels and by offering financial and technological resources to these leaders for their local outlets with stipulations. These commanding officers can serve a crucial role since they are better able to monitor the behavior of their agents and can punish and reward them for their performance. these commanding officers are effective because they can develop mature relationships with their operatives. However. These relationships are characterized by a high degree of leader-member exchange and commitment that was impossible to achieve between Al Qa’ida Central Command executives and operatives due to their lack of physical proximity. Communication frequency. Perkins. they can build differentiated relationships with their rapports rather than espousing an “average” leadership style. the extensive negotiations that continue to occur between Al Qa’ida and its affiliates suggest that Al Qa’ida has consciously utilized these arrangements to remain resilient. Brachman.determine if Al Qa’ida assumed this structure by conscious design or coincidence. Since they are already closely coupled to their agents. Moreover. Bin Laden did not seek to exert strategic or operational control over the leaders of its regionally based affiliates. now when Al Qa’ida merges. The Role of “Mergers and Acquisitions:” By affiliating with local jihadist movements. Bramlett. Previously. interactive communication 13 . He observed that a dearth of such leaders reduces the maximum level of control Al Qa’ida could exert thereby undermining the potential for political impact (Felter.

patterns. Commanding officers now serve an important role as interlocutors with Al Qa’ida Central Command. since the most devoted operatives are obliged to engage in riskier or inherently fatal assignments) is a more hazardous strategy (Felter. Thus. leader-member value agreement. Al Qa’ida can ensure that strategic and tactical differences between it and its commanding officers are reconciled. There is a positive correlation between the level of ideological indoctrination of cell members and the degree of control a leader exerts. Al Qa’ida Central Command can rely upon its commanding officers to handle finance and logistic tasks and to engage in auditing strategies. and Fishman 2006). cohesive units can innovate and adapt to the demands of the environment because they do not need to conform to a strict set of guidelines passed down from Central Command. Bramlett. Studies from the corporate world as well as observations by Al Qa’ida theorists reveal that when agents develop high quality relationships with their leaders. and member affect are all key in this dyadic relationship (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995). ensuring that relationships that could dilute commitment are avoided and those that enhance commitment are strengthened(Brachman and McCants 2006). subordinate loyalty. which can be tracked by counterterrorist forces. their performance. Providing funds on a need-to-have basis to smaller groups of operatives is a risky strategy because each additional transfer entails communications and financial transactions. Perkins. Because affiliations are often preceded by several months of bargaining and negotiations. and their overall unit performance improves (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995). 14 . Local leaders can also effectively monitor operative’s personal and social network. relying on lower-level operatives (who are often less committed. Moreover. The moderate coupling between Al Qa’ida Central Command and local leaders is essential to the performance of the organization. decision influence. Jarrett Brachman. these new. Moreover.

these commanding officers can ensure the dissemination of innovation and information by acting as an intermediary between their cell members and Al Qa’ida Central Command. at present. Although these commanding officers have significant responsibilities (for example. IV.By allowing its commanding officers to retain significant freedom to interact with other local leaders and with resource providers. they are given latitude to exploit their specific environment. Thus. efficiency. press and scholarly articles. and powers including discipline and punishment of their agents) no researcher has analyzed their role or background. information between operatives and Al Qa’ida authorities (McAllister 2004). and competence of local cells. local leaders-cum-commanding officers perform a crucial function by liaising with Al Qa’ida Central Command. they act as a hub of communication. government documents. thereby allowing Al Qa’ida to maintain ideological and operational control over the organization and by closely interacting with local operatives. finances. up-to-date. Currently. obligations to Al Qa’ida Central Command. transmitting new. this study provides valuable insight into the transformation that these leaders undergo when they become Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers by looking at their responsibilities before and after they affiliate with Al Qa’ida. scrutinizing their stories for patterns to determine their motivation. Moreover. Moreover. thereby ensuring the unity. and Internet articles. Initial Thoughts on Policy Implications: 15 . and equipment. accountability for operation effectiveness. This is the first study that pinpoints the organizations with which Al Qa’ida has affiliated and identifies their leaders (who subsequently become Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers). duty of care to their agents. the use of force. this study compiles the biographies of over forty Al Qa’ida commanding officers. Drawing upon documents and transcripts of legal proceedings involving global Salafi mujahedin and their organizations.

Government efforts to degrade Al Qa’ida’s capacity should focus on undermining its security environment, minimizing the degree to which it can control operations, and abort its ability to fund its activities. By identifying the crucial role played by commanding officers in sustaining Al Qa’ida, this study will suggest additional means of undermining Al Qa’ida. The government should increase dissension between local leaders and Al Qa’ida Central Command. The US government should publicly recognize and highlight the differences between the acquired groups, who originally espouse ambitions such as regime overthrow and Al Qa’ida, which is committed to a pan-Islamic program. Moreover, the government can disrupt communications channels between local leaders and Al Qa’ida central command by utilizing misinformation and flooding information channels, thereby forcing the commanding officers to communicate more frequently with Al Qa’ida Central Command, possibly revealing crucial information. There may be “psychological” tactics that can be employed to generate dissension, to exploit certain aspects of human or group dynamics that would lead to competition, or rebellion. Moreover, there may be certain personality characteristics of the types of individuals employed at each level of organization that can be manipulated. Finally, government efforts should deny jihadist groups the benefit of security vacuum in vulnerable areas; thereby barring the emergence of potential Al Qa’ida partners. Through troop deployment, the US government can deny terrorists the use of vulnerable countries as staging grounds for the attacks in the West.


Chapter 2: Literature Review
Recently, counterterrorist agents and military officers have mounted efforts to combat Al Qa’ida and Bin Laden supporters. However, there is considerable controversy among scholars regarding the structure of Al Qa’ida and therefore, how best to target this formidable foe. The debate regarding the nature of Al Qa’ida’s threat will inevitably impact upon the allocation of influence and resource by the U.S. federal government in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) embarked upon following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The outcome of the bureaucratic turf wars over funding for programs under the new Obama administration will surely define future directions and strategies to confront Al Qa’ida specifically and global terrorism in general. In the introductory chapter, I highlighted the newfound importance of Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers, which lead the groups with which Al Qa’ida has recently merged or with whom it remains associated. Although Al Qa’ida retains its core group and a well-trained terrorist cadre, it has become increasingly engaged with regional affiliates in Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, Indonesia, and other sites in franchise operations. I. Literature on Al Qa’ida’s Foreign Affiliates Several scholars have investigated the process whereby Al Qa’ida has achieved a broader geographic and operational reach by employing local jihadist groups. These researchers confirm my commentary that such partnerships can provide Al Qa’ida with increased flexibility and offer advantages in stimulating tactical level innovation within particular environments when they are astutely directed by Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. In a report prepared for the Combat Studies Institute, Kalic describes Al Qa’ida as a “modern hydra.” He observes that before the onset of the GWOT, Al Qa’ida functioned as a regional indoctrination and training center for Islamic terrorist organizations. However, he


corroborates my observation that because of the loss of support and training centers in Afghanistan due to Operation Enduring Freedom, Bin Laden was obliged to rely upon outside groups in order to perpetuate Al Qa’ida’s agenda. Kalic suggests that Al Qa’ida’s alliances with Abu Sayyaf, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Tunisian Combatant Group, and Libyan Islamic Fighting Group have enabled Al Qa’ida to expand its geographic influence and diffuse its organizational structure. He describes the process whereby Al Qa’ida supports local “walk in” Islamic groups that pitch their plans to Al Qa’ida for financial support. These radical groups provide additional reach to Al Qa’ida and expand its operational capability for minimal investment because they can develop indigenous plans and operations based on local situations and observations. Moreover, they allow Al Qa’ida to minimize exposure of its central command structure (Kalic 2005) In a similar vein, Takeyh and Gvosdev have observed that after the destruction of its sanctuary in Afghanistan, Al Qa’ida has remained buoyant by forging foreign alliances. Through this strategy, Al Qa’ida has established a presence in failed states where it believes the US will opt not to risk significant losses associated with urban/guerilla warfare. Al Qa’ida no longer needs a strong state for funding and supplies since it can rely on its franchises in countries like Kashmir, Kosovo, Chechnya, and Palestine (Takeyh and Gvosdev 2002). Riedel avows that the US invasion of Iraq and subsequent efforts to quell sectarian unrest have allowed Al Qa’ida to regroup in the tribal areas of Pakistan, where it has established a new base of operations. Now, Al Qa’ida is once again focused on enlarging its network. Consequently, Al Qa’ida has developed a closer relationship with Kashmiri terrorist groups, like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad that have a presence there. Moreover, while Al Qa’ida has failed to topple the governments of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, its attacks against these


Moreover. she suggests that both Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan compromised their original mission when they joined forces with Al Qa’ida. Africa. Al Qa’ida remains associated with these groups as long as they cannot operate independently. and revivalist organizations (like Tablighi Jamaat) (Stern 2003). Finally. For instance. with Shia organizations (like Hezbollah). In a similar vein. She maintains that many organizations will form alliances with groups that have ideologies different from their own. with traditional organized crime groups (like Artab Ansari’s [an Indian gangster] network). Mishal and Rosenthal describe Al Qa’ida as a “dune organization” that employs other loosely affiliated organizations to carry out its missions. Al Qa’ida need not maintain constant supervision or control over the activities of its old affiliate’s operatives (Mishal and Rosenthal 2005). and sometimes unlikely alliances with other jihadist groups (like Jemaah Islamiyah). Stern observes that terrorist groups’ objectives have evolved to ensure their survival. Riedel suggests that Al Qa’ida may seek a foothold in Gaza.regimes demonstrate its expanded influence throughout the Middle East. 19 . when they prove that they no longer need Al Qa’ida’s material or normative support to conduct independent maneuvers. thus. Al Qa’ida finds another organization that can attain its other goals and leaves this former associate to continue the war on its own. The affiliated groups may employ a modus operandi. or Lebanon in the near future (Riedel 2007). obliging both entities to adapt. indicates that Al Qa’ida has established connections in Europe. the plot to destroy ten commercial airliners en route from the United Kingdom to the United States. which is not identical to Al Qa’ida’s tactics.” Due to the adaptability of its mission. However. she avows that Bin Laden has adjusted his objectives over time and describes Al Qa’ida as a “flexible group of ruthless warriors ready to fight on behalf of multiple causes. foiled in 2006. Al Qa’ida can forge broad.

He offers Al Qa’ida in Iraq as an example of a group which compromised Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic mission by attacking Muslim civilians and engaging in conflict with other Iraqi insurgent groups (Fishman 2008). whereby Al Qa’ida combines with or subsumes another organization. Finally.” whereby Al Qa’ida allows other groups to use its facilities. They avow that terrorist groups cannot be self-sustaining and must “engage in the fundamentals of established economic practices” to furnish protection from outside threats. Ideological motivations While these studies analyze Al Qa’ida’s strategy and explain why Al Qa’ida has pursued such arrangements. equipment. He contends that Al Qa’ida’s franchises are likely to commit rash. reputation.” whereby Al Qa’ida finances terrorist groups with the intention of influencing their strategic activity. Desouza and Hengsen provide the most comprehensive analysis of Al Qa’ida’s collaborative activities. offering only its name. they describe mergers and acquisitions.Fishman is less worried about Al Qa’ida franchises than other scholars. II. they do not reveal why local jihadist groups choose to align with Al Qa’ida. including “licensing agreements. or personnel for a specific purpose and duration and “minority equity investments. strategic mistakes and are more susceptible to counterterrorism offensives than their mother organization. Literature on Incentives for Joining Radical Movements A. They contend that these interactions are the most complex form of equity engagements that terrorist groups develop to survive in competitive environments and suggest that mergers/acquisitions allow terrorist groups to consolidate their assets to compete more successfully or exploit resources held by other parties (Desouza and Hengsen 2007). He avers that Al Qa’ida offers these franchises few benefits. and ideology. Many groups that merge or partner with Al Qa’ida adhere to a program based on the ethnic. They analyze several possible arrangements. 20 .

In fact. few studies investigate the incentives of the local jihadist leaders who adopt Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program and transform their organization into part of Al Qa’ida’s system. They observe that although Al Qa’ida was initially devoted to fighting the Soviet forces it now espouses more internationalist objectives. Unfortunately. Studies regarding why individuals join radical movements may inform our understanding of the motivations of local terrorists leaders who connect with Al Qa’ida’s global enterprise. Smith. many groups grapple with contradictions between national and supranational aims. She observes that the attention groups pay to adjusting their ideology to circumstance is revealed when they explain and justify their strategies. enemies and allies are described in different terms at different times (Della Porta 1995).sectarian. one might expect that local jihadist leaders subscribe to Al Qa’ida’s global jihad because the idea of establishing an Islamic Caliphate throughout the world is attractive to them. and state boundaries in which they arose. Upon allying with Al Qa’ida. Jones. Al Qa’ida can co-opt local struggles into an evolving network of worldwide jihad by asserting its dedication to an international agenda. Consequently. and Weeding validate this line of thought. They contend that Al 21 . Like Stern. Consequently. One could also envisage that Al Qa’ida is promoting its pan-Islamic vision because it is aware of the magnetism of this dream. they must forsake their indigenous agendas to support the global pan-Islamic movement. it is a tool for enlarging the potential supporters of the organization. she proposes that ideology is a strategic choice made by the organization. Della Porta suggests that individuals are persuaded to enlist in underground organizations when they are enticed by its ideology. linguistic. Based on her interpretation. She maintains that political organizations often orient their ideology to support recruitment.

Al Qa’ida successfully transformed the parochial thinking of these groups through a sophisticated propaganda campaign to orient them towards global. Al Qa’ida anti-Western curriculum is increasingly alluring (R. membership in fundamentalist organizations and repeat terrorist acts. global events have provided the context for the new generation to gain exposure to significant ideological training and indoctrination. They offer Jemaah Islamiyah as an example of an organization that was seduced by Al Qa’ida’s discussion of a pan-Islamic caliphate (Jones. and Weinberg observed 80 Palestinian suicide terrorists from 1973 to 2002. As a result. They noticed that these terrorists exhibited a higher rate of religious education. Post. Islamist groups fought secular Muslim governments either to replace them or to form a separate state. and Weeding 2003). Similarly. and Hezbollah. They deduced that peer influence and increased social standing were major reasons for joining a terrorist group (Post.Qa’ida has improved its media wing to appeal to local jihadist groups in their native language and honor regional customs. rather than local jihad. and Denny interviewed 35 incarcerated Middle Eastern extremists from Hamas. As a consequence of the GWOT and the war in Iraq. Islamic Jihad. He avows that traditionally. Gunaratna also supports this argument. and Denny 2003). Gunaratna 2002). they 22 . Psychosocial motivations Conversely. as well as 14 secular terrorists from Fatah al-Islam. B. other studies suggest that individuals join terrorist networks for psychosocial reasons. They observed that most had a high school education and some had additional schooling and that most came from respected families that supported their activism. Perliger. Consequently. Moreover. Sprinzak. they concluded that income and/or educational inequalities do not account for terrorism. Pedahzur. Smith. Sprinzak. However.

He observed that members of terrorist organizations were generally middle-class. On the contrary. He sample included expatriate leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group. Each mode of operation has a per-unit price that 23 . calculated decision to execute a particular type of action. members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. These participants in jihad grew up with strong positive values of religion. educated young men from caring and religious families. Marc Sageman’s book. Although his research was biased towards leaders who have come to the public attention. Strategic/opportunistic motivations Alternatively. rational. Sageman compiled data from public sources on 172 individuals who he identified as members of a global Salafi mujahedeen. spirituality and concern for their communities. Perliger. C. and Al Qa’ida. which they perceive to be the optimum strategy to accomplish a sociopolitical goal. terrorist leaders may have opportunistic motives for securing a spot under Al Qa’ida’s umbrella. Jemaah Islamiyah. he found that social bonds were the critical element in the process of joining jihad and he suggested that such connections precede ideological commitment (Sageman 2004). Sandler and Enders contend that terrorists must choose between different strategies and modes of attack based on their perception of “prices” associated with alternative operations. Moreover. Several academics believe that terrorist action derives from a conscious. and Weinberg 2003). the GSPC. Understanding Terror Network is particularly revealing. Sagemen found no evidence of pathological narcissism or paranoid personality disorder amongst those who he surveyed.proposed that the terrorists acted out of altruistic motives (devotion to a religious community) and deduced that recruitment could be based on a network of shared social values(Pedahzur.

who might otherwise be contained or co-opted by local regimes and. In joining Al Qa’ida. embracing global jihad may be perceived as a way to control and recruit new group members (Bruce Hoffman 2004). Based on these accounts. these local jihadist leaders may seek concrete benefits such as the provision of financial resources. local jihadist leaders may confederate with Al Qa’ida due to psychosocial influences. one can imagine three different rationales why local jihadist group leaders would affiliate with Al Qa’ida. Alternatively. etc. First. Hoffman notes that approximately 90 percent of all terrorist groups collapse within a year and only half of the remainder survives another decade. He further notes that local jihadist cells shed their outlaw status within radical Muslim circles when they have Al Qa’ida’s backing. He remarks upon long running government offensives that have nearly crushed several terrorist groups. by extension. he mentions that the Iraq war has sapped local jihadist groups of their most active militants. 24 . while incarcerated together. Finally. These affinities may compel local jihadist leaders to liaise with their old compatriots and mutually assist each other in their subsequent struggles. and association with the Al Qa’ida label. access to training facilities. the United States and its allies. local jihadist leaders. In this context. Finally. local jihadist group leaders may be lured by Al Qa’ida’s ideology.includes the value of time. Thus. may unite with Al Qa’ida to guarantee organizational survival. It is possible that these groups take the transnational jihadist challenge seriously because the idea of creating a single Islamic state or reviving the united Caliphate of earlier times is captivating. any act executed by a terrorist organization can be perceived as a rational choice (Sandler and Enders 2004). while training together. These local jihadist leaders may have developed relationships with Al Qa’ida officials during the Soviet-Afghan war. resources and anticipated outcome. Based on these observations he suggests that several local jihadist outlets need the Al Qa’ida imprimatur to raise money.

III. Literature on Terrorist Leadership A. The personality of terrorist leaders While these studies enlighten the discussion regarding incentives for merging or partnering with Al Qa'ida, very little literature directly addresses the role that local jihadist leaders play before or after a merger. However, some researchers have attempted to identify personality traits that enable leaders to attract and maintain large followings. In the 1920s, German sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic leadership as “resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism, or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him.” He suggested that charisma was a personality trait by virtue of which a leader appeared endowed with exceptional power or superhuman competencies. Charismatic leaders gained authority through qualities unique their own, not through positions that they occupied (Weber 1968). Kostrzebski applied Weber’s theory of charismatic authority to examine leadership in the context of Islamic tradition. He contends that a certain model of charismatic politico-religious leadership, first exemplified by Mohammed, the prophet and founder of Islam, is prominent in Islamic history. He notices that in the Islamic world, religious and political leadership is usually embodied in the persona of a single charismatic individual. He cites Mahdi of Sudan, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Osama bin Laden as examples of this archetype. Furthermore, he predicts that this type of charismatic politico-religious leader will appear with greater frequency in the future (Kostrzebski 2002). Similarly, Bergen contends that Bin Laden’s charisma helped fuel an influx of recruits and attracted aspiring jihadists to Afghanistan from Western countries. Moreover, he avows that Bin Laden’s cult of personality prompted various militant Islamic groups to affiliate with Al


Qa’ida. He notes that Bin Laden left operational planning to trusted lieutenants and stood above the fray. Consequently, few operatives received personal audience with him. However, those who went through the vetting procedures and gained access to Bin Laden describe their encounters with the legendary terrorist leader as “beautiful” (Bergen 2006). B. Targeting leadership While these studies suggest that a leader’s charisma can inspire a devoted following, they do not address the role that such leaders play within an organizational framework. While research addressing this topic has been extremely sparse, some scholars have discussed how the arrest or neutralization of a terrorist leader can affect the group’s performance. In a Joint Special Operations University report, Turbiville perceives that the United States has emphasized targeting and eliminating key terrorist leadership since 9/11. He describes the diverse experience of foreign operations against insurgent and terrorist high value targets. Based on several case studies, he concludes that leadership targeting can be effective, particularly when a group depends heavily on a charismatic leader. However, he cautions that operations which target leadership must be integrated into an overall and effective counterinsurgency and counterterrorist strategy and warns that abuses of national and international law and human rights committed in terrorist leadership targeting programs have a negative impact on larger counterinsurgency goals (Turbiville 2007). Langdon, Sarapu, and Wells examined 35 leadership crises to determine what happens to terrorist movements after the loss of a leader. Although they predicted that the assassination of a leader would cause a dramatic change in ideology leading to increased violence, they found that the assassination of a leader often causes the group to fail or disband. Moreover, they observed that the assassination of a leader is more likely to devastate a terrorist group than an arrest. They


suggest that arrested leaders may continue to play an important ideological role by guiding their group from their prison cell (Langdon, Sarapu, and Wells 2004). These studies suggest that targeting leadership could damage a terrorist group by depriving it of effective direction and demoralizing its rank and file members. However, while these analyses intimate that terrorist leaders play an important role in ensuring organizational survival, they do not expose the particular function that terrorist leaders must execute. Thus, this study is valuable since its looks at both the motivations and specific responsibilities of Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers.


During negotiations between Al Qa’ida and 28 . Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers have the ultimate authority over their region and are given wide latitude to run their units within the boundaries of Al Qa’ida’s doctrines. I. who serve as Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. Al Qa’ida has become a flexible. recently. In order to understand why Al Qa’ida is such a forceful and resilient organization. moderately coupled network of individuals united by a common need and ultimately aligned behind an emergent leader. As centralized communication nodes within their system. Al Qa’ida has expanded its reach through its affiliations so that it is uniquely positioned to target the West through spectacular attacks designed to inflict mass casualties and damage to the global economy. Al Qaida’s ability to mete out devastating destruction worldwide has increased as cells have become progressively armed with modern technology. remains an important security threat. By depending upon its commanding officers (the former leaders of local jihadist groups). Moreover. As such. Currently. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are held responsible for its success or failure in their region. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the motivations and responsibilities of Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. In fact.Chapter 3: Methodology Al Qa’ida has clearly transformed and evolved in ways described in the introduction. conducted by operatives capable of inflicting maximum civilian and economic damages on both local and distant targets in pursuit of their extremist goals. Background: The introductory chapter explained how and why Al Qa’ida relies extensively upon the leaders of regionally focused groups. Osama bin Laden. Its terrorist activity. they have become the main link between Al Qa’ida Central Command and the organization’s operative units. we must understand the strength that resides in its leaders.

Commanding officers also ensure that an operative’s incentives to supply effort are not diminished and mediate conflict within their unit when the affiliation begins and as it matures. Negotiations are often lengthy processes. little is known about the characters. because academic studies to date have not focused on Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. commanding officers are influential arbitrators. or credentials of these officials. Past studies have ignored important hierarchical considerations. they help stimulate interdependency and interaction among their units and other branches of Al Qa’ida. The previous chapter revealed that literature on the role of leadership in terror networks has remained limited in scope. Thus. which consider categories of influence factors and their effect on an individual’s decision to join an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization. focusing primarily on principals like Osama bin Laden. so too must the commanding officers that merge their organization with Al Qa’ida prepare accordingly (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006). researchers have overlooked them. Finally. involving discussions regarding financial and capital resources and tactics. I theorized that by examining the demographic characteristics of Al 29 . The surveys reviewed. Although these commanding officers play a vital role in expanding the agenda of Al Qa’ida and adding legitimacy to its international campaign. communicate often and address everyone involved in the deal. do not adequately explain why certain terrorists leaders affiliate with Al Qa’ida and its program of global jihad nor do they reveal the precise role that these officers serve within the Al Qa’ida network once affiliated. motivations.the potential affiliate. Unfortunately. plan ahead. This study is the first to comprehensively examine Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. Just as managers from the corporate arena trying to integrate newly acquired companies and divisions. it will contribute to the bank of information and stimulate vital discourse on the composition and function of Al Qa’ida today.

Qa’ida’s operatives, such as age, educational background, years of religious training, religious affiliation, and by evaluating these operatives for their military backgrounds (e.g. war experiences/participation in the Afghanistan conflict), incarceration/prison time, migration patterns etc, I would be able to detect recognizable patterns that characterize these terrorist executives. The patterns that I observed would help me answer two critical questions: 1) What motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida’s and its pan-Islamic agenda? 2) What type of role do local jihadist leaders play within Al Qa’ida’s network when the organization for which they are responsible affiliates with Al Qa’ida?

II. Assessing Q1: The previous chapter outlined three explanations for why individuals join terrorist organizations. Some researchers suggest that terrorists follow a strategic logic and are inspired by opportunism; they perceive armed combat at the most effective way to generate significant governmental concessions (Sandler and Enders 2004, Bruce Hoffman 2004). Others scholars suggest that ideology plays an important role in pushing militants of some militants toward terrorism (Della Porta 1995, Jones, Smith, and Weeding 2003, R. Gunaratna 2002). Finally, some academics claim that individuals join terrorist organizations due to strong solidarity bonds derived from interpersonal relations (Post, Sprinzak, and Denny 2003, Pedahzur, Perliger, and Weinberg 2003, Sageman 2004). Since prior studies have not discussed what incentives provoke local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida, I assumed that the motivations for local jihadist leaders to join Al Qa’ida’s global jihad were similar to the motivations for individuals to


join terrorist movements. Thus, to address my first question, I developed the following hypotheses: H11. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to opportunistic motives H21. Al Qa’ida commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to ideological motives H31. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due psychosocial motives H11 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers aligned with Al Qa’ida due to opportunistic motives) reflects the observation that relatively undersized, less powerful indigenous assemblies of terrorists can invigorate their organization by aligning with Al Qa’ida. In recent years, Al Qa’ida has demonstrated unusual resilience and international reach. It has exhibited a complexity, agility, and global scope that is unrivaled by any previous terrorist organization. Its fluid operational style, based on a common mission statement and shared objectives rather than standard-operating procedures has ensured its success (Stern 2003). Al Qa’ida has a remarkable ability to attract membership by relying upon a web of informal relations with various Islamic groups to gain access to operational collaborators and individuals to execute attacks. Currently, Al Qa’ida’s recruitment process seems to be more a matter of joining than being solicited. Moreover, the Salafi message, which has been disseminated over the Internet by Al Qa’ida’s media division, has attracted numerous members of alienated diasporas (sometimes second and third generation immigrants) who feel isolated from their communities and seek to belong to a group (Bruce Hoffman 2003). By associating with Al Qa’ida, local jihadist groups can shore up popular support and amp up recruitment.


Al Qa’ida’s strength may also lie in its impressive coffers; Al Qa’ida has amassed billions of dollars by building a strong network of financiers and operatives who are frugally minded and business savvy. Moreover, Al Qa’ida’s finances are often hidden in legitimate and illegitimate businesses; Bin Laden is reputed to own approximately eighty companies around the world. Al Qa’ida has learned to effectively leverage the global financial system of capital markets by utilizing small financial transfers, under regulated Islamic banking networks and informal transfer systems throughout the world. Thus, it is difficult to choke off funds destined for Al Qa’ida (Basile 2004). Consequently, Al Qa’ida can grant money to local terrorist groups that present promising plans for attacks that serve Al Qa’ida’s general goals. All terrorist organizations must engage in attacks to maintain support, to buttress their organizational integrity, and to foster their continued existence. Associating with Al Qa’ida ensures that a group has access to the necessary financial resources to conduct attacks. In a sense, Al Qa’ida operates like a large multi-national company and the “product” that it exports is terrorism. One must acknowledge the economic principles that underlie Al Qa’ida’s success, that of supply and demand, limited resources, productivity etc. Finally, Al Qa’ida has successfully exploited the technological tools of globalization to communicate with various audiences. Al Qa’ida has launched an effective advertising campaign worldwide using the latest technology and psychology to reach their desired addressees. Al Qa’ida uses mobile phones, text messaging, instant messaging, websites, email, blogs, and chat rooms for administrative tasks, fund-raising, research, logistical coordination of attacks, and recruitment. When Al Qa’ida’s media division airs its hostage videos and films of terrorist attacks or their aftermath, it provides the organization with the oxygen of publicity necessary to sustain itself. Unless civilian populations are made aware of terrorist acts and cowed into fear by


Consequently. 90% of terrorist organizations have a life span of less than one year. The timelines featured important events in their life cycle (e. Cronin lists seven broad explanations for the decline and ending of terrorist groups: 1) the capture or killing of the leader 2) failure to transition to the next generation 3) achievement of the group’s aims 4) transition to a legitimate political process 5) undermining of popular support 6) repression 7) transition from terrorist to other forms of violence. In fact. the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi. I searched for evidence of terrorist group decline based on Cronin’s criteria. Consequently. the beginning of a government offensive. More than one dynamic can be responsible for their decline (Cronin 2006). spectacular attacks. to assess H11. would affiliate with Al Qa’ida if he desperately needed to give his organization a second wind. I developed timelines for each organization included in this study. etc.such assaults. the founding. and the NEFA foundation. If there was 33 . the onset of series of attacks. In considering this hypothesis. most modern terrorist groups do not last long. I assumed that opportunism was the primary motivation for merging with Al Qa’ida (coded as 2). as a rational actor. Information was gathered from various international security think tanks including the Center for Defense Information.g. the Jamestown Foundation. Terrorist groups that align with Al Qa’ida can benefits from Al Qa’ida’s media and propaganda expertise. To do so. the Council of Foreign Relations. Moreover. Al Qa’ida cannot influence the governments that it targets.). if there was strong evidence that the group was in a state of imminent decline immediately prior to its merger with A Qa’ida. these materials are seen by potential sympathizers who may be brought into the folds of terrorism itself (Blanchard 2006). it is important to remember that Al Qa’ida is a unique terrorist organization. I judged that the local jihadist leader.

To assess H21 (Al Qa’ida commanding officers were inspired by Al Qa’ida’s ideology). to evaluate H21. (Al Qa’ida is a pan-Islamic organization) 3) Al Qa’ida promotes violence against other Muslim denominations as well as nonMuslims. Al Qa’ida’s ideology is centered upon three key points: 1) Al Qa’ida attributes the obstacles encountered by the Islamic world to the JewishChristian apostate Muslim alliance. I considered the leader’s prior involvement in Islamic societies. Al Qa’ida would like to replace all existing governments with a supranational caliphate and impose a strict and exclusive government based on their interpretation of Sunni Islam. I determined if the local jihadist leaders who affiliated with Al Qa’ida espoused anti-Western. the largest denomination and is violently opposed to other Islamic denominations that it regards as “infidel. I determined that opportunism was the secondary motivation for merging with Al Qa’ida (coded as 1). Al Qa’ida strongly opposes Western influences and ideologies that it perceives as “un-Islamic. More information on statistical hypothesis testing follows in the chapter on data analysis and results. which they had published regarding their ideology. I considered the assessment of Al Qa’ida’s ideology published by MI5. pan-Islamic. the UK’s security intelligence agency. Al Qa’ida’s supports a narrow interpretation of Sunnism. To execute this assessment. (Al Qa’ida is anti-Shia) (Al Qaida's Ideology) Thus. According to MI5.some data that suggested that the group had experienced minor setbacks. and statements. I relied predominantly upon newspaper articles published in both the domestic and international 34 . To perform this appraisal. or anti-Shia agendas.”(Al Qa’ida is an anti-Western organization) 2) Al Qa’ida aims to establish a caliphate based on an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam. religious education.” most notably Shiite sects.

press and. or anti-Shia goals than regional initiatives. operatives from foreign countries began trickling into Pakistan. North Africa. speeches and other primary source materials authored by the leaders themselves. Thus countless numbers of mujahedeen veterans who had formed tight bonds with their fellow fighters returned to locations in the Middle East. I resolved that ideological alignment was the primary motivation for joining Al Qa’ida (coded as 2). or antiShia sympathies. pan-Islamic. and elsewhere 35 . the Pakistani government ordered the closure of Arab mujahedeen offices in the country and threatened official deportation to any illegal foreign fighters who attempted to remain in Pakistan. I considered operatives’ involvement in four episodes that served to rally jihadists around Al Qa’ida principals and fostered the development of social bonds between mujahedeen figures. the Soviet Union launched a military invasion to restore Soviet control over neighboring Afghanistan. which was organized into several native mujahedeen organizations with headquarters in Peshawar. statements. where available. Soon thereafter. Abdullah Azzam and the Saudi billionaire. Finally. yet also expressed anti-Western. If I found that the leader placed more emphasis on anti-Western. While some arrived to provide money and weapons to support the fight. I concluded that ideological alignment was a secondary motivation (coded as 1). fearing the collapse of communism in Central Asia. However. Countless numbers of Afghanis joined the Islamic resistance. others enlisted in the growing corps of “holy warriors” under the lead of the legendary Palestinian Sheikh Dr. eager to put the Afghan jihad in the past. Osama bin Laden. if the leader seemed more committed to local programs. to assess H31 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to prior social network affiliations). However in January 1993. communiqués. pan-Islamic. Pakistan. In December 1979.

in subsequent years. President Sadat of Egypt died after being shot by gunmen who opened fire as he watched an aerial display at a military parade. Only 58 sentences were given and most of the defendants were released after three years in prison. who appeased his hosts by mobilizing construction equipment and bankrolling construction projects. After being released. he convinced several Saudi businessmen to invest in Sudan and several of his brothers and Jeddah merchants did invest in Sudanese real estate. Many focused on mobilizing the population to overthrow the government. In the Sudan. Two trials took place. these jihadists developed strategies for establishing an Islamist state and established important personal connections. more than 700 people were rounded up. they may have decided to reunite with Zawahiri and the other jihadists with whom they were imprisoned. and agriculture (Gunaratna 36 . Osama bin Laden journeyed to the Sudan. who became a spokesman for the defendants because of his eloquence and knowledge of foreign languages. Moreover. The second trial consisted of 302 defendants charged with conspiracy and being members of the illegal Tanzim al-Jihad. In prison. After the Soviet-Afghan War.” these former combatants may have opted to rejoin Al Qa’ida. When presented with the opportunity to reunite with their “brethren.(Wright 2007). The first was held in camera and consisted of 24 suspects directly involved in the assassination. The events that unfolded subsequent to the assassination of Anwar Sadat may have played a similar role in forging social bonds amongst jihadists. where the new regime had raised an Islamic banner. However. Most jihadists rallied around Ayman alZawahiri. Following President Sadat's assassination. several former prisoners left Egypt (Wright 2007). farming. Ultimately. despite the prosecution demand of 299 death sentences the judges gave out none. In 1981. he was treated as a special guest.

After Bin Laden fled the Sudan in 1996 as a result of international pressure.-led forces in 2001. Finally. Kabul. When considering the relevance of social network affiliations. Subsequently. This treatment was based upon my observation that not every participant in these episodes. Thus. L. requiring women to wear head-to-toe veils. and jailing men whose beards were deemed too short. 37 . As ethnic Pashtuns. His second presence in Afghanistan attracted many mujahedeen to return there (P. became an Al Qa’ida associate. and embarked upon his jihad against America. a precondition which set the stage for the merger). disillusioned with existing ethnic Tajik and Uzbek leaders. the Taliban controlled some 90 percent of Afghanistan's territory. while social affiliations may animate a small minority to engage in Al Qa’ida’s program of global jihad.S. a large part of the Taliban’s support came from Afghanistan's Pashtun community. they do not explain why these particular leaders aligned with Al Qa’ida. although subject to the same or similar influences. Bergen 2001). Before its ouster by U. During this time he established links to Sudanese Islamists as well as fundamentalists in Somalia and Yemen.e. banning television. In the years after departing from the Sudan. he established residency in Afghanistan. Bin Laden set up numerous training camps in the region. the Taliban had captured Afghanistan’s capital. By September 1996. The bonds that these jihadists formed prior to the US invasion may have sparked their cooperation with Al Qa’ida after the onset of the Global War on Terror. participated in the Sadat trial. local jihadist leaders may have established social connections with Bin Laden in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks and the Global War on Terror. I assumed that social network affiliation was a permissive factor (i. or spent time in the Sudan before 1996 or Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban. he could rekindle these ties. However. The Taliban rule was characterized by a strict form of Islamic law. I determined whether the group member was involved in the Soviet-Afghan war.2002).

I considered social network affiliation to be a secondary motivation rather than a primary motivation. They have military experience or formation and/or expertise in weapons or explosives. They direct the group’s bureaucratic development and organize recruitment drives. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly ideological role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida. III.Unless the local jihadist leader was clearly not incentivized by opportunism or ideological concerns. or foreign language competencies. They 38 . I developed another three hypothesis: H12. Logistical leaders are accountable for the administrative and financial activities of their units. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly logistical role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida H32. They have vocational. developing military tactics. ideological/media leaders are responsible for expressing the organizational culture and philosophy of their group through media activity and possibly fatwa as well as personal interactions with their operatives. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly operational role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida H22. logistical. Operational commanders are primarily responsible for conducting operations (including “spectacular attacks”). Assessing Q2: To answer my second question (What type of role do local jihadist leaders play within Al Qa’ida’s network when the organization for which they are responsible merges or partners with Al Qa’ida?). I posited that Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers would fall into one of three primary leadership categories after the affiliation occurred: operational. or ideological. or legal expertise. Consequently. and running training camps. Finally. financial.

Thus. I did not compare leadership performance across categories because different measures were used to evaluate leadership faculty for each category. considered the following variables: Type of leader Operational Logistic Ideological Media activity Military/Front line experience Administrative/financial activities Weapons/explosives training Indications Training camp participation Recruitment experience Organizational restructuring Media innovations Involvement in ideological transitions Operational innovations Involvement in major attacks Vocational skills Language skills Fatwa issues Documented political or religious guidance proffered to operatives After analyzing these variables. logistic. If he demonstrated one of the factors in this category. published books or articles. If the leader demonstrated at least two of the factors in the operational leadership category. I coded him as an average operational leader 39 .have granted interviews. and ideological leadership abilities before and after the merger. I compared leadership performance pre. I assessed the commanding officer’s operational. Instead. and released audio or videotapes.and post-merger. this estimation would have been biases. To determine the role played by the commanding officer. I coded him as a strong operational leader (3).

to collect information on terrorist groups and key leaders of terrorist groups. I coded him as such (0). since START has not evaluated this data and cannot assure the reliability of the information provided. However. which is now available to the public through an agreement between MIPT. developed by the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT). If he exhibited none of these factors. Although the TOPs database listed thirty-six Al Qa’ida allies. The New York Times. I used the Terrorist Organization Profiles (TOPs) Database included on the website of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START). I coded him as a weak operational leader (1).(2). If the leader was not involved with the organization at the time. a business and technology consultancy. From 2004 to 2008 the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security funded the creation and maintenance of the Terrorism Knowledge Base. 40 . and START (About START). I considered two questions: 1) With whom has Al Qa’ida affiliated? 2) Who led these organizations? To answer the first question. I used the same secondary and primary source materials listed earlier in this chapter. I also used these sources to determine the date that the affiliation commenced. and The Washington Post. Developing the Universe of Cases To develop my universe of cases. I conducted further analyses to determine its accuracy by confirming with at least two separate. DHS. To perform this evaluation. The International Herald Tribune. the Library of Congress. non-partisan sources. the Federation of American Scientists. the Council on Foreign Relations. MIPT collaborated with Detica. including reports available through the Jamestown Foundation. IV. A discussion of the comparison of leadership performance pre-and post-merger follows in Chapter 5. I used the same criteria to assess logistic and ideological leadership. I eliminated several from my study based on the following criteria using open source materials.

perhaps by providing access to operatives. I coded each affiliation as a merger. or a weak affiliation (collaboration). To qualify as a strong affiliation. an official denial of connections with Al Qa’ida should induce caution (and invoke more thorough analysis of the relationship) Based on my evaluation. After performing this assessment. but did not actively conduct operations outside their region nor did they contribute to Al Qa’ida’s other initiatives in any meaningful way. or opportunities for training. thereby potentially compromising their local agenda. assets. or logisticians. informants. I separately examined al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya 41 . intelligence. the organization must have developed a symbiotic relationship with Al Qa’ida. Finally. 2) The group must not have renounced violence I did not include political movements that supported Al Qa’ida’s aims because armed groups operate differently than other clandestine non-violent organizations. In return. To qualify as a merger. the group must have formally announced that this arrangement existed through a communiqué broadcast to a wide audience. and media specialists. Those groups that I coded as weak affiliates received financing or training from Al Qa’ida. for example by contributing to its recruitment efforts or operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. I determined that twenty-one groups conformed to these the above standards. contact with its network of financiers.1) The group must have been engaged in operations independently of Al Qa’ida (the group must not be a front for Al Qa’ida My study considers the deliberate decision to affiliate with Al Qa’ida. 3) While not grounds for immediate disqualification. a strong affiliation (partnership). whereby they supported Al Qa’ida. Leaders who head front organizations for Al Qa’ida do not make a pre-meditated choice to cooperate with Al Qa’ida. Al Qa’ida aided the local organization.

Selection of my study subjects/study 42 . I made this distinction because I was interested in investigating the motivations and role of those leaders who came from outside Al Qa’ida’s orbit but became involved in its program later in their career. operations. I identified the leaders (past and present) of each of these 21 groups. Based on this data. I generated a list of 41 Al Qa’ida field commanders as study subjects. the Taliban. it is equally important to comprehend what deters other groups from associating with Al Qa’ida. I considered all of the commanding officers of each group from the onset of their relationship with Al Qa’ida to the present. I included a detailed investigation of the GAI in Chapter 7. others experienced numerous leadership transitions (ex. Thus. a group that did not affiliate with Al Qa’ida as a control group. Next. In order to understand what motivates certain groups to align with Al Qa’ida. Selection of Study Subjects My prior discussion focused on terrorist organizations that are overtly in pursuit of Salafi objectives. Some organizations had more than one nominal chief at times. I used open source materials including reports by non-partisan research institutions and newspaper articles.(GAI). I included a leader who was had not actively cooperated with Al Qa’ida if this leader had communicated with Al Qa’ida Central Command and if his successors vigorously pursued relations after his term. Jemaah Islamiya. While some groups did not experience any leadership transitions after they partnered with Al Qa’ida (ex. both past and present. I did not consider Al Qa’ida’s regional staff officers. and activities. in which case I treated both as leaders. In performing this assessment. namely the establishment of an Islamic state. who coordinate and supervise the execution of plans. In a few instances. Al Qa’ida in Iraq). but who never had a vested interest in a particular local jihadist group. V. Asbat al-Ansar).

Because clandestine organizations are often very secretive about their members and operations. which exists in Morocco. Problems Regarding Information Gathering To conduct this assessment. I did include many groups that were deeply invested in domestic uprising and urban warfare against their own governments. Moreover. Moreover. I did not include Palestinian groups. This grouping is just an assemblage of small illegal clusters centered around charismatic preachers. I chose to limit my sample to in order to reveal certain patterns that might not have otherwise emerged with less stringent exclusion criteria. Salafia Jihadia. economic. I used sources from the public domain. In contrast. I included Muslims fighting for the liberation of Kashmir and those fighting an internal insurgency in Central Asia. who are fighting a jihad that involves complex social. less magnetized by Al Qa’ida pan-Islamic agenda.sample was based on demonstrated and documented overt commitment to the principles of Salafism and all of the organizations that I studied were well defined with leadership that supported terrorist operations. Although I eliminated all non-Muslim terrorists from the study sample. and political grievances and who may be less committed to the principles of Salafism and thus. VI. Often. For instance. In addition. the data from this study is inevitably biased towards information about those organizations and individuals who are regarded as more visible and who appear publicly with greater frequency. there may have been ascertainment bias introduced by the difficulties accurately assessing leaders’ competence in organizing and conducting important attacks. terrorist organizations will not take credit for successful operations for fear of provoking the government to conduct a counterterrorism response. bias was introduced by the actual leader interviews and communications that can be considered well-orchestrated propaganda 43 . I did not include the amorphous social movement.

As a result. empirical data about Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers was collected and analyzed. leader of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. VII. and how they aligned their own local jihadist group with Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. what motivates them. With the aforementioned limitations in mind. Relevance By seeking to understand who Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are. I assessed the role he played before and after aligning with Al Qa’ida. VIII. I completed one comprehensive case study (in addition to my detailed discussion of the GAI). formerly the Groupe Salafist pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC). I considered the source of information and its degree of reliability. My observations regarding 44 . I arrived at a better understanding of how to recognize and predict who may become Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers and how to anticipate and counter their efforts. I investigated Abdelmalek Droukdal. I considered Droukdal’s prior experiences and the history of the GSPC to determine why he embraced Al Qa’ida’s internationalist agenda rather than remaining committed strictly to jihad in Algeria. as mentioned earlier. These concerns withstanding. a comparison of leadership performance across categories was impossible. press and scholarly articles. who merged his organization with Al Qa’ida despite the objections of the GSPC’s former leader Hassan AlBanna (Guidère 2007). I used the materials available to me to try to best collect information about and understand the leaders and organizations that I profiled. and Internet articles. Next. These sources included: government documents.exercises that may not appropriately reflect the leader’s true motivations and ideology. Case Study Finally. When assessing the data.

are they focused on promoting their message through propaganda or are they intent on conducting more attacks?). by understanding the role that Al Qa’ida commanding officers play. my analyses may suggest that our battles in the Middle East and our policies regarding imprisonment are creating gathering places for global Salafi jihadists. if proven. Based on our knowledge of Al Qa’ida’s strategy.motivations will serve two purposes.g. 45 . This realization. First. they will help develop a model to identify local jihadist leaders who may merge or partner with Al Qa’ida in the future. Finally. The fundamentalists who form interpersonal bonds through these venues may be persuaded by Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic partisans to become the next-generation of Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers in locations scattered across the globe. Secondly. we can better allocate resources to address this threat. has strong implications for US foreign policy in the post 9/11 era and greater attention should be paid to identifying such settings. we can better understand Al Qa’ida’s overall strategy (e.

the evidence indicates that Al Qa’ida’s strategy is not new: it has operated like an international franchise by providing financial and logistical support. They contend that after September 11. that a cumulative effect occurs. Since 2001. lost several of its top officials. and Abu Sayyaf. I determined the year that the group first received or conveyed assistance to Al Qa’ida. since a group does not merely affiliate with Al Qa’ida and then sever all relations. this relationship has perpetuated to the present day. To address this concern. 2001. they argue. therefore. in every case. Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: An Evolving Network Although the purpose of my study was to investigate Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. First.Chapter 4: Universe of Cases I. and failed to overthrow the governments in Egypt. Jordan. Although I have recorded the first year in which the group cooperated with Al Qa’ida. In many instances. Al Qa’ida was deprived of a “state within a state” in Afghanistan. as well as name recognition 46 . who diluted relations with Al Qa’ida). surprising. To assess the date of the affiliation. the relationship between Al Qa’ida and its affiliate has strengthened or weakened (such is the case with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. It is important to keep in mind. and Saudi Arabia. The investigation of Al Qa’ida’s patterns of affiliation with respect to time is very interesting and indeed. Al Qa’ida has transformed into an international enterprise with like-minded local representatives loosely connected to a central ideological base (Riedel 2007). Despite the popularity of this argument. who consolidated relations with Al Qa’ida. Most of researchers who I discussed in my literature review perceive Al Qa’ida’s strategy of franchising as a new development. I have classified the affiliation according to its current state. I considered the development of Al Qa’ida’s affiliation over a period of time from 1991 until 2005 (Table 1). I also observed noticeable patterns while developing my universe of cases.

Yemen. this was as perturbing and foreboding an event as the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that had occurred a decade terrorist groups operating in such diverse places as the Philippines. After the Saudi government. he departed for the Sudan. Consequently. Bin Laden could operate freely in the Sudan and in return he would invest millions of dollars in the desperately poor country. These operatives also offered advice to their Somali counterparts on how to set up social services for the local population. oil rich state of Kuwait on August 1. In this year. Bin Laden had immediately volunteered his services and those of his holy volunteers but the Saudis did not take this offer seriously (Gunaratna 2002). for years. Turabi and Bin Laden engaged in a convenient symbiotic relationship. when one considers the historical context. As a result of the Sudanese government’s hospitality and support. 47 . For Bin Laden. Al Qa’ida linked up with Al-Ittihaad al-Islami (AIAI) and Abu Sayyaf. this observation is not nearly as stunning. the first US troops were dispatched to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield. On August 7. Tajikistan. While Bin Laden was situated in the Sudan. 1990. This relationship strengthened throughout the nineties. during his time in the Sudan. tired of Bin Laden’s critiques. thereby threatening the security of Saudi Arabia. Al Qa’ida first seriously affiliated with other terrorist organizations in 1991. However. Somalia. where he was warmly welcomed by Hassan al-Turabi. Afghanistan. Bin Laden organized training camps at which hundred of his followers were tutored in paramilitary tactics as revealed in the previous chapter. Bin Laden perceived this intrusion as part of a larger Western design to dominate the whole Arab and Muslim world. He was able to send Al Qa’ida operatives to Somalia in 1991-1992 to liaise with their leaders and then help AIAI organize itself militarily. effectively put him under house arrest. 1990. Eritrea. After Hussein’s forces invaded the small. the leader of the National Islamic Front. Kashmir and Iraq. Chechnya. Algeria. Bin Laden had the opportunity to interact with other terrorist units to expand Al Qa’ida’s reach.

Concurrently. By 1991. Muhammad Jamal Khalifah to support the Abu Sayyaf Group. Moreover. Bin Laden probably saw the struggle in the Philippines as an opportunity to open a second front for his organization without becoming embroiled in the conflicts in the Middle East. while residing in the Sudan. he persuaded his brother in law. he broadcast a fatwa in which he avowed that having already taken over the Persian Gulf area and now encroaching upon Somalia. if successful. From 1991 to 1996. Bin Laden convinced several Saudi businessmen. which sought to pursue a more fundamentalist battle against the Philippine authorities than the Moro National Liberation Front. the US military. to invest in the country’s moribund financial institutions. While occupied with these financial negotiations. where their transactions would go unnoticed and in its infrastructure projects. including some of his brothers. Instead. After associating with these groups.Bin Laden ramped up his assistance to the Somali terrorists after the Bush administration sent US peacekeeping troops to Somalia in 2002. Moreover a number of ASG members had fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s (Rogers 2004). their parent organization. Soon thereafter. Bin Laden focused his efforts on other missions like determining how best to attack US forces in Somalia. Thus. would next march into Southern Sudan and then into other Islamic countries(Gunaratna 2002). Bin Laden exploited a cache of trustworthy warriors who he could rely upon to cultivate his vision of global jihad. many of whom would be employed by these Arabic executives. he attempted to centralize the core of Al Qa’ida’s operations and develop its human resources as discussed in Chapter 1. my data indicates that Al Qa’ida did not engage another affiliate until 1996. which would elicit support from the Sudanese population. Al Qa’ida was preoccupied with other pursuits and could not devote energy towards developing such high-maintenance relations. between a thousand and two thousand 48 .

on widening his movement. Bergen 2001). As a result of this multitude of tasks. During this time. attracting Muslim militants to a country. Mullah Muhammad Omar sent a delegation to assure Bin Laden that the Taliban would be honored to protect him because of his role in the jihad against the Soviets (Gunaratna 2002). Bin Laden began to focus. From Afghanistan.members of Al Qa’ida converged upon the Sudan and within three years. By 1996. L. Given this stable and secure environment. it is not surprising that between 1996 and 2001. hundreds of Afghan Arabs engaged in fighting in Bosnia (P. He also sought to acquire weapons for these militants. Finally. which became the modern world’s first jihadist state. He turned his attention to exotic weaponry and weapons of mass destruction. Thus. Al Qa’ida engaged 15 of its 21 affiliates. To 49 . Bin Laden knew Afghanistan well and greatly admired the Taliban religious warriors who had taken control over much of the country. Bin Laden was able to function unimpeded. These communiqués served to attract the attention of various local jihadist leaders. 1996. Upon Bin Laden’s arrival. Simultaneously some members of the group undertook the massive task of writing the Encyclopedia of the Afghan Jihad. intense pressure had been placed on the Sudanese government by the United States and Egypt to expel Bin Laden. a multi-volume series detailing everything the Afghan Arabs had learned in the jihad against the Soviets. who left the Sudan to return to his familiar stamping grounds in Afghanistan. once again. Bin Laden and his cadre were engrossed by other concerns and did not focus on developing external relations with other jihadist groups. Bin Laden issued a slew of radical pronouncements beginning with a call to arms against the continued American military presence in Arabia on August 23. no affiliations were observed between 1991 and 1996. Bin Laden had set up a number of military camps in the north. Having obtained sanctuary.

2001 attacks. this is due to the fact that in 1998 Bin Laden created the International Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders (IIF). an anti-Shia sectarian party (Carafano 2005). members included the head of the violent faction of Egypt’s Gama’a al Islamiyya. Bin Laden’s organization nurtured ties with a variety of other armed jihadist groups. is an obligation for every Muslim who is able to do so in any country. However. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. Laden convened conferences of several Afghan ulema. Amidst this background. These sequential steps were part of Bin Laden’s plan to expand his multi-national terrorist campaign. The clerics who Bin Laden summoned also had acquaintances with jihadists beyond Afghanistan who they could introduce to Bin Laden (Bergen 2001). in 1998. he needed the backing of religious scholars and the clerical cover to call for a real global jihad. in the years before the September 11. and the head of Bangladesh’s Jihad Movement. 50 . we hereby give all Muslims the following judgment: the judgment to kill and fight Americans and their allies. and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan. “in order to obey the Almighty. Thus. the establishment of the IIF can clearly be interpreted as an effort by Al Qa’ida to expand its battle against Western influence. In part. While Bin Laden was well read in the Koran. he was not a religious scholar. one observes a surge of new Al Qa’ida affiliates. the secretary general of the Pakistani religious party known as the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam.” Based on this quotation. In addition to Bin Laden and EIJ’s Ayman al-Zawahiri. In addition to its formal alliances through the IIF. before 2001. whether civilians or military.supplement this strategy. According to this Word Islamic Front manifesto. he probably did not rely extensively upon the leaders of these organizations. Later the IIF was expanded to include the Pakistani jihadist organizations Lashkar-eTaiba.

Thus. Al Qa’ida’s training camps. As stated in the introduction. are built up through mergers. after 9/11. infrastructure. near bureaucratic entity to a fluid movement tenuously bound by a loosely networked transnational constituency (i. Whereas before Al Qa’ida had a distinct center of gravity. Groups such as the Groupe Salafist pour la Prédication et le Combat and Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad were brought further into Al Qa’ida’s folds. and collaborations (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006). the dearth of new Al Qa’ida affiliates seems puzzling given what scholars perceive to be Al Qa’ida’s organizational strategy. As elaborated upon in Chapter 1. few can deny the United States and its allies achieved progress in the first phase of the Global War on Terror. Al Qa’ida aims to establish itself as a complex organization with a flexible structure in order to preserve control over specifically identified strategic operations while offering cells a degree of autonomy in local and regional operations. complex organizations. temporarily crippling it. characterized by semiautonomous cells that are horizontally and vertically integrated into the centralized command structure.Contrary to popular belief. Aggressive US and allied efforts impeded Al Qa’ida’s ability to do anything. There are two explanations for this observation.e. after 2001 and the onset of the Global War on Terror. and command-and-control nucleus in Afghanistan were destroyed and uprooted. Osama Bin Laden was compelled to makeover his organization. Bin Laden elected to strengthen existing affiliations rather than pursue new ones. from an actual center to a virtual network) (Bruce Hoffman 2004). partnerships. Firstly. Bin Laden had to engineer a colossal transformation of his organization from a more or less unitary. be it to plan attacks or to align with other jihadist groups. To more easily engineer this metamorphosis. Al Qa’ida has not enlisted many new affiliates. 51 . After 2001. operational bases.

in 2004. Bin Laden and Al Qa’ida Central Command relied more heavily and interacted more frequently with the leaders of these groups. in a letter dated July 9. In fact. However. Another observable and notable trend is that the number of affiliates that Al Qa’ida enrolled has increased since the onset of the war in Iraq in 2003. Zawahiri reprimanded al-Zarqawi for indiscriminate attacks on Shias. and for maintaining the momentum of an Islamist victory by expanding operations into Syria. beheading of hostages. began to instruct Zarqawi regarding tactics and specific theater-of-war concerns. who had become his commanding officers. “Iraq’s preeminent utility has been a useful side show” – an effective means to sidetrack American military forces and divert US attention while Al Qa’ida and its affiliates make inroads and strike elsewhere. Ayman Zawahiri. and Egypt (Michael 2007). Nowadays. For instance. Additionally. including Shias. For instance. Al Qa’ida has exploited the Iraqi occupation for rousing propaganda and as a recruitment tool for the global jihadist cause. who had become Bin Laden’s second-in command. For example. Israel. was responsible for developing his own strategy and operations. terror attacks 52 . Moreover. Al Qa’ida now teams up with terrorist groups who can send foreign jihadists to Iraq where they conduct guerilla warfare against the America and British troops. Jordan. the leader of Tawhid. Al Qa’ida and its affiliates can conduct attacks in countries that are venerable sources of Bin Laden’s antagonism or where an opportunity has presented itself. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. prior to 2005. he urged Zarqawi to prepare for a precipitous American military withdrawal from Iraq. Lebanon. 2005. the Uzbek fighters associated with the Islamic Jihad Union have supported fighting in South Waziristan against the Pakistani government and US forces hunting Al Qa’ida fugitives (Steinberg 2008). for establishing a post-US Islamist emirate governed by a coalition of Islamic groups. and lack of concern for public support.Moreover. Bruce Hoffman has suggested that for Al Qa’ida.

These regions have a history of conflict with the West. One can anticipate that the majority of affiliates would hail from the Core Arab states and Maghreb Arab states. The warfare between Arabs and the West culminated in 1990 when the United States sent a massive army to the Persian Gulf to defend some Arab countries against aggression by Saddam Hussein The Gulf War left some Arabs feeling humiliated and resentful of the West’s military presence in the Persian Gulf (Huntington 1992). The smaller clusters come from Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa. Tunisia) and Southern Asia (namely. Considering the sample as a whole. the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot to detonated liquid explosive carried on board from the United Kingdom to the US and Canada. according to statistics released by the US government’s National Counterterrorism Center. France fought a war in Algeria and British and French forces invaded Egypt. and the 2007 terrorist attacks in Algiers (Bruce Hoffman 2004). The other large clusters come from the Maghreb (Morocco. when colonial empires began to retreat. it is interesting to consider the geographic distribution of Al Qa’ida’s affiliates (Figure 2). include the 2004 bombings against Madrid’s commuter trains. Afghanistan. conflicts along the fault line between western and Arab Islamic civilizations frequently erupted. Libya. Egypt Uzbekistan. Pakistan).around the world tripled in 2004. the 2005 bombings against London’s public transport system. the American forces went into Lebanon. Notable incidents conducted by or with the assistance of Al Qa’ida’s affiliates since the beginning of the Iraq war. Later. For instance. Al Qa’ida Affiliates: The Geographic Distribution Having assessed the development of Al Qa’ida’s affiliations over time. Samuel Huntington observed that after World War II. II. and Yemen). Lebanon. Algeria. over forty percent of the 21 affiliates are based in the Core Arab states (Iraq. 53 . Arab nationalism and then Islamic fundamentalism strongly manifested. In the aftermath of this transition.

These states have porous borders. Furthermore. He maintains that most Islamic revolutions evolve from movements for indigenous self-assertion. weak security apparatuses and crisis-torn economies. There is also a simpler explanation to account for the plethora of Al Qa’ida affiliates hailing from the Core Arab states. Islam can provide a medium of cultural nationalism that is defiant and self-assuring. they could permit leaders of these jihadist groups to establish training camps without fear of government intervention. Moreover. Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. all of which are in immediate proximity to Afghanistan. whereas the religious-framed prescriptions of Arabia Islam have a thirteen century-old legacy (Ayubi 1980). Al Qa’ida has appealed to militants in the four neighboring former Soviet Central Asian republics. and Uzbekistan. the Taliban controlled the Afghan territory bordering Uzbekistan. one of the masterminds behind the assassination attempt against Uzbek President Islam A. Karimov. fled to Afghanistan where he set up a military training camp. at the present time operatives from these organizations can assist the Al Qa’ida- 54 . Kyrgystan. and leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Since 1996. Tahir Yuldashev. for years. Thus. For those countries resisting foreign dominance.These struggles had a profound effect on the development of jihadist outlets. Secular prescriptions (whether nationalist or leftist) are regarded as unsuccessful European importations introduced by intellectuals exposed to French and Italian cultures. Turkmenistan. just a few miles from the border (Luong and Weinthal 2002). Tajikistan. Ayubi suggests that the general Islamic resurgence that one observes today represents a reaction to alienation and a quest for authenticity by disaffected Muslims who resent Western participation in their lands. For instance. Al Qa’ida and the Taliban could facilitate the transportation of militants moving back and forth across the borders. Additionally.

eager to regroup in Pakistani cities where police control was more negligible. In the wake of these changes.supported insurgency in Afghanistan. Similarly. In addition. However. Conservative estimates suggest that at least several hundred North African volunteers have traveled to Iraq. The conflict between Muslims and Hindus in the subcontinent manifests itself in the rivalry between Pakistan and India. This too. these groups help Al Qa’ida attack coalition troops in Afghanistan and then escape across the Pakistani frontier (Fair 2004). 55 . several Kashmiri separatist terrorist groups turned to Al Qa’ida for support. terrorist operatives in the Maghreb move easily across international borders. offered to President Bush Pakistan’s unqualified cooperation in the fight against terrorism. With the assistant of Al Qa’ida’s Algerian affiliates. Pakistan has allowed the US military to use bases within the country. has helped to identify and detain extremists. Separatist violence in India’s Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir state has continued unabated since 1989. fighters transit through Syria. Upon returning to the Maghreb. quickly granted this concession in return for safe haven. thousands of Muslim extremists were detained. I also observed that a large percentage of the groups that merged with Al Qa’ida hailed from Pakistan (20%). and has helped to tighten the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. under strong US diplomatic pressure. President Musharraf. where Islamabad exercises limited authority. Al Qa’ida. these militants can stage local campaigns due to their recently acquired front line experience (Boudali 2007). Consequently. after the September 2001 attacks. should be expected. affiliates from these nations are particularly desirable. Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri are now believed to be in Pakistan’s rugged tribal areas. thus.

and the Philippines. Also. Additionally. and the fragility of local democracy. The largest and most influential are either political parties or revivalist organizations. it has not emerged as such.Within my sample. such as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Moreover. the rise of political Islam can be linked principally to the collapse of Suharto's regime. Political organizations representing modernist Muslims were 56 . there were fewer groups from the Eastern African region and from the Southeast Asian region. In Indonesia. Malaysia and Brunei. There are almost no legitimate terrorist targets and terrorists themselves can be subject to extortion in largely lawless settings. Although Muslims represent a majority in countries like Somalia and Eritrea. while Buddhism and Roman Catholicism are dominant respectively. In fact. hostility from indigenous religious authorities may also impede the growth of Wahabism (Dickson 2005). Muslims are a minority. in East Africa. in which there is just enough government control and economic security to provide an adequate target for terrorist groups. the nation's continuing economic crisis. the profound ethnic and religious diversity (including in the practice of Islam) that characterizes the area militates against the establishment of a fundamentalist hegemony by any one group. Unlike Eastern European countries. Thailand. where the other major Abrahamic faiths dominate. the depth of its involvement with terrorists is constrained by the very disorder seen as a classical setting for terrorism. In Singapore. in general Muslims are a minority in East Africa. Again. a central government with even rudimentary influence has yet to emerge. Despite the fact that Southeast Asia seems like a good candidate for the second front in the US campaign since it is home to the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. Indonesia. while Somalia has served as a transit route for terrorists. this can be easily explained. most visibly Al Qa’ida. many Islamic organizations in Southeast Asia genuinely oppose Al Qa’ida and most are nonviolent. and two other mostly Muslim states.

banned from the 1950s to the 1980s. Additionally. While Al 57 . causes havoc. The preponderance of affiliations (over 70%) could be classified as partnerships or collaborations. the highest order form of equity-based engagement. Al Qaida can provide financial or logistic support to other terrorist groups with the intention of influencing their strategic activities. When a group merges with Al Qa’ida. Al Qa’ida achieves the ideal mix of tightly and loosely coupled systems. described in the first chapter. Mergers were much less common (approximately 17%). mergers. and many of their leaders were imprisoned. This sort of arrangement is convenient when Al Qa’ida wants to spread its radical ideas and has financial resources but does not necessarily care for the local politics in the region. it is difficult to cut off centralized funding due to the complex nature of Al Qa’ida’s financial network. Supporting local terrorist groups in this manner makes noise. Through partnership and collaborations. Although this type of arrangement allows Al Qa’ida and the merged group to consolidate their assets so that they can compete more successfully. By contrast. Both partnerships and collaborations permit Al Qa’ida to structure itself as a complex organization. the relationships between cells and between operatives in Al Qa’ida central command are loosely coupled. they forfeit a degree of control. were much less common. Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: Mergers? Partnerships? Or Collaborations? Finally it is important to consider distribution by type of affiliation (Figure 3). the group that Al Qa’ida subsumes must be capable of completely integrating Al Qa’ida’s methods and approaches into their repertoire. III. Although such groups have since become a major political force in recent years. more extremist forms of Islamism still remain at the fringes (Gershman 2002). While the relationships within the cells are tightly coupled. and distracts the enemy while Central Command plans for more detailed attacks elsewhere. Through partnerships and collaborations.

they can “offer” tactical advice. Executive Order 13224 provides the means to disrupt the support network that funds terrorism. mergers often end up splintering as a result of differences of ideologies. designation under the UN Security Council’s 1267 Committee’s consolidated list will trigger international obligations on all member countries. supporters of terrorism are publicly identified thereby providing warning to other entities that they are prohibited from doing business with the Al Qa’ida affiliate (Uruena 2008).Qa’ida Central Command does not usually plan operations. they may split their own ranks and upset surrounding communities. financial or otherwise. There are other practical difficulties. When a group commits to jihad against the far enemy. Under this order. requiring them to take steps to prevent designated individuals and entities from continuing to fund or otherwise support terrorism. which the merged group must obey. In addition. 58 . but are more interested in deposing their current government. Finally. Such blocking actions are a critical tool in combating the financing of terrorism (Mayer and Price 2002). the United States. goals. operatives are estranged when Al Qa’ida takes credit for the operation and they are forced to assume a more “behind-the-scenes” role (Desouza and Hengsen 2007). and strategies. most prominently. who have no interest in establishing a global Islamic caliphate. they often become the targets of counterterrorist offensives by foreign governments. Oftentimes. For instance. as observed with the Zarqawi-Zawahiri letter referenced earlier. Moreover. groups that merge officially with Al Qa’ida may risk alienating the local population. Through this measure. the United States government may block the assets of individuals and entities providing support. to designated terrorists and terrorist organizations. when groups officially merge with Al Qa’ida. which should be addressed when discussing mergers.

Summary of Findings Although Al Qa’ida’s policy of pursuing affiliations with local jihadist groups is not a new development. since they offer increased organizational flexibility and operational reach. As the example of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. provided in Chapter 6 proves. Al Qa’ida may have several mergers in the works that have not yet been publicly announced. the data demonstrates that Al Qa’ida may be more likely to pursue lower-order affiliations. IV.Given these considerations. mergers only occur when terrorist groups have developed a close relationship and realize the mutual value of working together. while Al Qa’ida’s affiliates are concentrated in the Core Arab and Maghreb states. While in recent years. it is also important to acknowledge that organizational issues must be addressed up front when a merger is negotiated since this type of affiliation is a longterm contract. Moreover. evidence suggests that Al Qa’ida will continue to pursue such relations and will rely upon them more heavily. 59 . Al Qa’ida may be seeking to expand into other Muslim-dominated territories. several groups have announced a formal merger with Al Qa’ida. Like corporations settling a merger. organizations must have the patience and resolve to work through issues. such as Western Africa. Thus.

ideological alignment. corresponding to 0= not a motivation. This analysis yielded the results contained in Table 1.” and “social network affiliation” respectively. although the smaller values of p for “opportunistic motives” and for “social network affiliation” suggest that these incentives are more robust. thus. By comparison.0188.146E-09. The null hypothesis tested for each scale was that there was no difference in the frequency of incidence of each level of motational factor. known or suspected terrorists). 60 . the null hypothesis was rejected.” and "social network affiliations. and social network affiliation all motivate local jihadist leaders to an extent. each subject was rated on one of three scales: "opportunist motives.05. Statistically significant differences among subjects were evaluated using a chi-squared test statistic for variation within each scale. All three statistics are significant with a p-value less than 0. Data Analysis and Results for Q1: What motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida’s and its pan-Islamic agenda? Data were collected on 41 individual subjects (i. and 1.Chapter 5: Results of Statistical Hypothesis Testing I.” "ideological alignment. 0. To assess the effects of motivational factors contributing to individual terrorist's decision to affiliate with Al Qa’ida. Based on this analysis.606E-06 for “opportunistic motives. The chi-squared test yielded pvalues of 1. when three scales were used. please refer to Chapter 3 on Methodology). in each case.” Each subject was rated 0-2 for each scale. one can conclude that opportunistic motives.e. 1= secondary motivation. 2 = primary motivation (for a more detailed explanation regarding coding. ideological alignment appears to be of less powerful significance as a motivating factor for local jihadist leaders.” “ideological alignment.

” and “social network affiliation” respectively. This analysis produced the results recorded in Table 2. scores 0 and 1 were combined into a single scale "not a motivation.639. was that there was no difference in the frequency of incidence of each level of motivational factor. the data suggests that psychosocial motive(i. the effect of ideological alignment does not even reach statistical significance. tested for both scales.” The null hypothesis. thereby suggesting that this particular factor is not a significant motivating variable for local jihadist leaders in this sample. This implies that opportunism is the primary motivation among the variables considered in this study for affiliating with Al Qa’ida. The p-value for opportunistic motives permits us to reject the null hypothesis of no effect.” while score 2 was considered as "motivation. H31 ( Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due psychosocial motives) requires further investigation. H11 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to opportunistic motives) is proven.e. H21 (Al Qa’ida commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to ideological motives) is rejected. Based on this analysis. However.289E-06. It is of note that the statistical significance for social network affiliation is far less impressive than that for opportunistic motives. and 0. 0.042 for “opportunistic motives.” “ideological alignment. The p-values associated with the chi-squared test statistic were 1. Data Analysis and Results for Q2: What type of role do local jihadist leaders play within Al Qa’ida’s network when the organization for which they are responsible affiliates with Al Qa’ida? 61 . In contrast. social affiliations) have some influence on the decision to associate with Al Qa’ida. II. The p-value associated with social network affiliation also allows us to reject the null hypothesis.To supplement this analysis and clarify the relative impact of each incentive.

the paired signed test rejected the null hypothesis for ideology (p=0.and post-merger score for any category. However. Accordingto this test. The Wilcoxon statistic was negative for all groups. compared to premerger. Additionally.Subjects were evaluated on their performance in each of three categories: “Operational. which suggests that leadership performance may generally improve as well. This suggests that ideological leadership performance does actually improve after a merger. which utilizes both the direction and magnitude of the change. Results are presented in Table 3. pre.0501).there was no statistic difference between the pre. we could not reject the null hypothesis for any category. across all terrorists considered as a group. The null hypothesis tested in this analysis is that there is no difference in each category post-merger.” “Ideological.” and “Logisitic” on a scale of 0-3. compared to pre-merger. pre and post merger. The null hypothesis tested in this analysis is that there is no difference in each category post-merger. the p-value for overall leadership performance was borderline (p=0.and postmerger. as well as the simpler paired sign test (Table 5). 62 . across all terrorists considered individually. thus based on this statistical test. These included the Wilcoxon statistic (Table 4). Paired statistics were then applied to compare the scores for each individual terrorist. The chi-squared test statistic was used to evaluate the overall difference in performance in each of the three categories post-versus pre-merger.015). which considers only the direction of change.

and these swamped the overall effect. the variability among subjects in the magnitude of the changes may have affected the results. Effectively what we are observing from this study’s data analysis is that while ideological concerns do not appear to be primary motivating factors for joining Al Qa’ida. for all three categories. Figures 4-5 demonstrate that for ideological performance. ideological performance improved. Most frequently.The results obtained through the paired sign test suggest that the direction of the change for ideological performance was significant. this was clearly most prevalent and only statistically significant for the ideology category. however. Generally. 63 . there was a tendency to improve scores post-merger. demonstrates that each group had a similar number of “no change” results (i. however. a pre-post score of 0). Moreover.e. whether they were categorized as only positive or positive plus no change. thereby hindering us from rejecting the null hypothesis using the Wilcoxon statistic. there were the fewest number of negative changes post-merger. This analysis allows us to accept H32 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officer play an increasingly ideological role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida). most changes were positive. a plot of the distribution of scores. after mergers with Al Qa’ida occur. there were a few changes in the opposite direction in particular subjects that were large. However. it lets us to reject both H12 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly operational role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida) and H22 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly logistical role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida). The operational category had the largest number of “-3” results and “+3” results. Figure 6. Moreover. for the ideological performance. shared ideological views become important.

He accomplished this revitalization and expansion of goals and activities by providing compelling ideological leadership and by organizing sophisticated public relations and media campaign both locally and globally. Abdelmalek Droukdal served as the commanding officer of Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb region and directed the internationalization of the former GSPC's war in order to revitalize a movement that was slowly dying in Algeria. whereupon Ahmed Ben Bella was elected the first president of Algeria. However. However. the Islamic movement in Algeria originated in the 1960s. to Al Qa’ida. Algeria achieved independence from France in 1962. After the merger of the GSPC with Al Qa’ida. Three months later. I. While the first official communiqué of the GSPC appeared in September 1998. He then adopted an 64 . Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. 2006. the only remaining armed terrorist group in Algeria. less powerful Algerian indigenous assembly of terrorists would not have been possible without the leadership of Abdelmalek Droukdal. the new organization radically changed its tactics: the series of suicide bombings and violent attacks executed in 2007 by Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) operatives demonstrated this strategic evolution. Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb was born. in 1965. The Origins of Islamic Violence in Algeria after the War of Independence The GSPC was founded with a regional focus: it sought to establish an Islamic state in Algeria and rejected the legitimacy of secular democratic governance. the leader of Al Qa’ida in Iraq announced the allegiance of the Groupe Salafist pour la Prédication et le Combat (Salafist Group for Call and Combat or GSPC). this metamorphosis of a relatively smaller.Chapter 6: Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb and Abdelmalek Droukdal – A Well Executed Merger On September 11. Defense Minister Houari Boumedienne staged a bloodless coup to remove Ben Bella from power.

the Salvation Islamic Front (FIS) was formed. a fundamental Islamic preacher established the Armed Islamic Algeria Movement (MAIA) in 1982 to establish an Islamic state. not an armed group that sought to reverse the economic decline in Algeria by implementing Sharia. during the 1970s. Thus. one-party. which he codified in the Algerian constitution in 1976. Unlike the MAIA. directed by Abdallah Djaballah. Islamic religious law. nationalist. the weak alliance between the secular and religious groups (the Ulama and the academic elite who led the liberation movement against the French) collapsed.authoritarian. The MAIA sought to resolve the social and economic injustices that had emerged in Algeria by forcible means if necessary (Johnson 2006). The FIS became popular amongst the Algerian population who supported the group financially and politically. Mustapha Bouyali. socialist political system. Before the independence. However. II. The Birth of the Salvation Islamic Front In 1989. disgruntled by the failure of Socialist economic policies. the fundamentalist Islamic movement became increasingly radicalized in response to President Boudemedienne’s abortive leftward shift in economic and cultural policies. and maintained an affirmative orientation towards Western learning and culture. In 1991. under Boumedienne’s chosen successor Colonel Chadli Benjedid the right to establish political parties was accorded in Algeria and with this decision. This political platform resonated with the Algerians. 65 . the Algerian Islamic movement was centrist. This socialist government's repressive secularism and one party rule were oppressive for many people in Algeria and helped fuel a fundamentalist backlash when Islamic leaders branded the government as “a band of atheists” and called for a return to an Islamic government (Johnson 2006). the FIS was a political organization. in response to the dictatorial and exclusionary policies proffered by the Socialist party.

it dissolved the FIS (Celso 2008). halted the electoral process. less militant Muslim clerics and political leaders whom it designated heretics. The GIA was formed from a collection of Algerian militant groups who had been executing a series of significant military operations against government targets in an attempt to overthrow the secular government in Algeria. with the prospect of the FIS in control of the parliament. He was an illiterate criminal and his reign. III. After subsequent leadership transitions. 1996. which would divide and alienate the FIS’s many Algerian supporters. However. However. Antar Zouabri became the head of the GIA on July 18. He repelled most members of the GIA when he issued a fatwa condemning the entire Muslim population of 66 . and suspended parliament. GIA supreme commander Saifullah Ajffar ordered the assassination of over 90 innocent civilians and eventually forced a mass European exodus from Algeria. the secular and military elite forced Benjedid's resignation. several Islamists became disenchanted with the political process and defected from the FIS to form armed splinter groups. which lasted until his violent death in February 2002. In an effort to racially purify the country. Thus.the FIS achieved a victory in national elections. The new regime calculated that the repression of the FIS would ignite a wave of extremist fundamentalist violence. A High Committee was established with Mohammed Boudiaf named as president. after the cancellation of the 1992 general elections in Algeria. Many Islamists became increasingly interested in radical approaches. was marked by barbaric methods and attacks against entire civilian communities. The Beginnings of the GIA and the Onset of an Epoch of Violence As the new regime predicted. The GIA was responsible for the murder of over 2000 schoolteachers guilty of “taming the youth” and more than 100 other competing. the GIA quickly alienated itself from other Algerian Islamic activities by adopting stringent interpretations of Islamic law.

While he preferred not to engage in force-on-force confrontations with the Algerian military to avoid depleting his cadre. He depicted the Algerian government as a postcolonial lackey at war with Islam. he encouraged operatives to target Algerian government officials. and Martínez 2007). Zouabri’s attacks on innocent Muslims estranged many former GIA military commanders. and incursions on towns to steal saleable goods (Guidère 2007). police. He asserted that the GSPC sought to overthrow the government in Algiers and to install an Islamic regime in Algeria. Consequently. military. Bucaille. who were left without an ideological umbrella. clearly articulated the narrow agenda of the GSPC. In 1998. these officers founded the GSPC as a military organization dedicated to the Salafist creed and the battle against the Algerian regime to restore the Caliphate and implement Sharia. he rejected the policy of terror executed by the GIA under Zouabri and enforced symbiosis with the local population. and hypocrites” for “not supporting them in their struggle against the government” (Blom. apostates. Hassan Hattab. the GSPC was able to amass hundred of defectors from the FIS and the GIA (Guidère 2007). However. However. ambushes. and gendarmerie through the use of false roadblocks. An Alternative Emerges: The Origins of the GSPC The GSPC was not set up as a pan-Islamic movement. the decision to establish the GPSC was the direct result of the GIA’s strategic impasse.Algeria as “kuffar. Fissions Form Within the GSPC 67 . a former GIA commander. IV. the GSPC denounced the massacres that the GIA had committed and entered the international arena with the goal of restoring the credibility of armed groups in Algeria and attracting embittered Algerian youths for whom the ideology of Islamic guerilla war had lost its appeal. bombings. The first prominent leader of the GSPC. V.

controlled a territory that roughly aligned with the governments’ own military districts. it was difficult for the local leadership to coordinate or control the activity of its fighters since attempts to communicate could result in discovery or interception by security services. Algerians had become less tolerant to the violence of the GSPC. The law set a deadline of January 13. The issue of whether or not to accept the terms of the Civil Harmony Law created considerable dissension within the GSPC. In July 1999. and could even participate in the fight against the remaining active terrorist groups. Consequently. 2000 for members and supporters of armed groups to surrender to the authorities (Black 2007).The GSPC was originally organized as a loose confederation of regional divisions under a supreme emir who supervised the organization. By the end of the twentieth century. the katibats were responsible for supplying and funding their own operations. the Civil Harmony Law was adopted and overwhelmingly endorsed in a national referendum the following September 2000. These fault-lines were exacerbated by external events that occurred soon after the founding of the GSPC. Several GSPC cadres were killed or captured by Algerian security services following leads provided by rival GSPC elements (Celso 2008). Nevertheless. This law declared that citizens not involved in massive killings. Hattab provided religious guidance. Imprisonment sentences were reduced. A study conducted at the Naval Postgraduate School determined that although the probability of defection by GSPC members was less than 10 68 . katibats. the Algerian government implemented a law that offered amnesty to the combatants who capitulated. Each of the regional groups. Although as supreme emir. death penalty and life imprisonment were commuted to a maximum of eight years imprisonment for individuals under probation. the organization was plagued by internal rivalry. Thus. bombing of public places. or sexual crimes would be placed under probation for a period ranging from 3 to 5 years.

They were devoted to regime change and preferred not to actively support the “Muslim brothers. The pan-Islamists encouraged solidarity with their “brothers in Islam” (Al Qa’ida agents) while the Islamo-nationalists were preoccupied with Algerian politics and the installation of an Islamic state there. Members of this organization realized that a merger with Al Qa’ida could have both political and financial benefits to GSPC (Guidère 2007). However. certain members of the GSPC dissented. 23 people were killed. Fifteen days after the attacks. believing that it would be better to take credit for the attack and thereby imply GSPC’s collusion with Al Qa’ida. on September 26.” This 69 . They suggested that courting Al Qa’ida would enable the organization to maintain its relevancy and shore up declining recruitment. They accused the Algerian secret service of executing the attack to isolate the GSPC from its popular base amongst the Algerian people and of attempting to align the existing Algerian governmental agency with the intelligence services of the United States in the Global War on Terror. Due to this amnesty program. and 9 were injured in a massacre that occurred in the Algerian town of Al-Abri. the GSPC’s operational reach diminished. It was thus effectively limited in scope by the Algerian government. 2001.percent before the implementation of the law. The September 11. the probability of defection reached a high of 60 percent during the Civil Concord period (Gyves and Wyckloff 2006). reasserting their dedication to avoiding civilian atrocities. which resulted in the demobilization of hundreds of militants from both the GIA and the GSPC. The GSPC denied involvement. This became a point of friction between Hattab and the younger members of the GSPC and two dominant camps emerged within the organization. 2001 attacks were another defining moment for the GSPC.

others within the GSPC did not share this perspective. the GSPC was forced to retreat from urban areas (Ellis 2004). Mali. As a result of hard-hitting endeavors by these transnational partnerships. Although Hattab invoked the original Charter of the GSPC. Hattab refused to send Algerian combatants to Iraq to battle the Americans because he predicted that doing so would deprive the GSPC of its best combatants when they joined the insurgency. Thus. implemented in November 2003. However. his efforts were in vain. The PSI was judged to be a success by US officials and local participants. the majority of the local emirs seated on the GSPC’s shura believed that the war in Algeria was lost. and Nigeria signed a co-operation agreement on counterterrorism. the Pan Sahel Initiative consisted of training regional military units by soldiers from the US Special Forces in Niger. thus. in July 2003. Chad. Moreover. Niger.minority faction opposed such a merger and preferred to remain like a small. Funded by the United States State Department. Algeria. which stated that the objectives of armed conflict should be to fight the Algerian regime and not other governments. the war in Iraq further exacerbated the debates that were occurring within the GSPC concerning the strategies to adopt with regards to Al Qa’ida. thereby joining both sides of the Sahara in a complex map of security arrangements. Observing the images of Iraqi soldiers and citizens humiliated by the American invaders. and Mauritania in an effort to improve border security and counterterrorism capacity. its next iteration was expanded to include Algeria. Although the GSPC was able to recover from the infighting provoked after 9/11 and aggressive counter-terror measures. the organization should 70 . Moreover. The United States also provided support for the war on terrorism in North and West Africa and in the Sahara desert through the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI). Chad. independently operated company that could focus on their own regional national agenda (Guidère 2007). the many GSPC fighters sought to engage in the struggle in Iraq.

Abou Ibrahim Mustapha. he fostered pan-Islamic solidarity and internationalism in order to reestablish a sense of unity amongst GSPC operatives. who succeeded Hattab in 2003. He continued to make entreaties to Al Qa’ida. Although he wanted to eventually establish his group as some sort of training authority.focus on preserving the honor of the Iraqis. his career was cut short when he was killed in a skirmish with the Algerian army in the Béjaïa region in June 2004 (Antil 2006). However. The Rise of Droukdal 71 . sought to actively support the Iraqi insurgents in order to gain credibility for the GSPC. in fact be absorbed into the GSPC’s domestic campaign. the old guard members who espoused a nationalist orientation were expelled from the GSPC (Guidère 2007). but who would. the 2nd anniversary of September 11. This was the first strong sign of official will to establish a relationship between the GSPC and Al Qa’ida and the beginning of three years of efforts to prove the GSPC’s will and commitment to Al Qa’ida. Nevertheless. Finally. When the shura of the GSPC voted to actively support the “Iraqi brothers. he issued a communiqué of support for Al Qa'ida in which he criticized Hattab’s position and extolled bin Laden. VI. Soon thereafter. for instance. they could use the war in Iraq to attract new recruits who believed that they would be sent to Iraq after basic training in Algeria. asserting his will to establish a community of Muslims dedicated to the creation of a Caliphate and calling upon GSPC members to attack all foreigners who supported the war in Iraq.” Hassan was obliged to resign. They also believed that participation in the war in Iraq would enable the GSPC to establish connections with other jihadist groups in North Africa and introduce them to new strategies and tactics. he did not yet possess an adequate network of fighters. On September 2003.

intelligence. By affiliating with Al Qa’ida. the GSPC needed to achieve a certain number of visible successes to appear active and successful. Said Makhloufi. assets. In 1996.Upon Mustapha’s death. who easily obtained his baccalaureate in 1989 in mathematics. He continued to hold this role when he enlisted with the GIA from 1993 to 1996. 1970 in the small village of Zayan. As a member of the clandestine ranks of the FIS. informants. situated near Mifan in the Blida region. he was promoted to chief bomb maker for one of the most important GIA 72 . Droukdal was recognized as an exceptional student. Abdelmalek Droukdal immediately assumed control of the GSPC. Nevertheless. from 1990 to 1993. Additionally. One year later. the GSPC was struggling to fill its ranks with recruits. recruited him. Droukdal realized that in order to maintain support. by supporting a cause that was seen to benefit the global community of Muslims. Thus. he hoped to study engineering. like the majority of young Muslim students. he was attracted to the FIS and actively sought to get close to its leaders. and logisticians. Thus. and media specialists who could reinforce the group’s capabilities and help it lead operations. After losing combatants due to the amnesty program announced by the Bouteflika regime. he was assigned the mission of fabricating explosives due to his scientific background and knowledge of chemical bases and mechanical processes. Droukdal sought to provide a new focal point for his members by participating in the global jihad. he officially joined the organization and in December 1993. Born on April 20. he was enthused when an officer of the FIS and a former member of the Algerian army. In 1992. he pursued a degree in technology from the University of Blida. As a youth. a merger with Al Qa’ida was particularly appealing to Droukdal (Johnson 2006). the GSPC could more easily recruit operatives. he went underground at the age of 23 (Guidère 2007). the GSPC would gain access to a network of financiers.

Droukdal. he commenced a policy of internationalization. he seized to opportunity to serve as chief military sergeant for the GSPC. Although he served the GIA in a military capacity. Upon his appointment as emir of the GSPC. he was promoted to the position of supreme emir of the GSPC after Mustapha’s death. While he was involved in planning a limited number of attacks. Droukdal’s Program: Toward Global Jihad Upon assuming power. he served the GSPC as an ideological figurehead. Finally. After Mustapha assumed power. Droukdal sought to inscribe the actions of the GSPC in an international context by publicizing the GSPC’s activities in Afghanistan. Hattab selected Droukdal as a member of his consultative council and made him a regional commander for the GSPC. Instead of concentrating media attention on local attacks. VII. In 2001. Libya. and the Sudan. In order to accomplish this feat. with his inauguration. incentivized by his opportunistic desire to revive the demoralized GSPC. he was selected to command the Al-Quds Brigade (Abu Bakr alSiddiq Brigade) at the behest of the leader of the GIA (Guidère 2007). sought to align with other jihadist groups. he conducted a nuanced public relations campaign and comprehensive media reform. he allegedly opposed the massacres conducted by the organization in the late 1990s. Thus.battalions. Soon thereafter. His aspiration was to link his organization to the wider Islamist campaign as represented by Al Qa’ida in order to reinvigorate the group after government crackdowns and legislation had reduced its numbers. he frequently issued communiqués 73 . Chechnya. he had not yet had any contact with Al Qa’ida (Guidère 2007). which had been created in 1998. Thus. instructing his followers in the ways of global jihad. He occupied this position until 2003. he nominated Droukdal as the director of the consultative council. when Hassan Hattab was forced to resign. one year later. Somalia.

a GSPC statement posted by Droukdal on the Internet defending the raid indicated that the attack was in response to U. he urged jihad as a way to defend Muslim honor. Droukdal sought to align the GSPC theoretically with Al Qa’ida and express his obeisance to Bin Laden and Zarqawi (Guidère 2007). which was inspired by that of Al Qa’ida in Iraq. The communiqués published in conjunction with the operation in Mauritania demonstrated Droukdal’s commitment to a pan-Islamic program and desire to indoctrinate his operatives in the ways of global jihad. the crisis in Iraq.regarding international politics and events affecting the Middle East and the Maghreb. He criticized the Arab leaders who allegedly embraced communism and capitalism and were becoming increasingly sensitive to the JudeoChristian coalition. It included articles on Salafism. For instance. Finally. was a reprisal of themes elucidated by Al Qa'ida. In response to this event. 2005. which took place from March 22-24. he circulated a communiqué congratulating the Chechen mujahedeen for the assassination of Ahmed Kadirov. In publishing this document. and other international themes (Guidère 2007).-led military exercises in northern Africa dubbed 74 . This communiqué. in Morocco. Droukdal launched a magazine for the GSPC. These initiatives allowed him to transmit his message to operatives across the Maghreb region.S. The communiqués included messages with international themes. thereby promulgating Al Qa’ida’s anti-Western program. The first operation undertaken by the GSPC outside its borders occurred in Mauritania in June 2005. which was broadcast to a large audience of operatives and supporters. Droukdal’s media strategy became clear after the Summit of the Arab League in Algiers. the President of the Chechen Republic in May 2004. Later. in Chechnya. For instance. he issued a communiqué addressed to the leaders meeting in Algiers. He derided these leaders as puppets of the American government. which were still committed to local initiatives. a more “global” goal.

the director of the media division of Al Qa’ida in Iraq issued a communiqué congratulating the GSPC. This operation provoked the first official reaction of Al Qa'ida to the GSPC. Droukdal sought to encourage Maghreb jihadists to join the Algerians in their struggle. including Algerian. Moreover. this was the first time Al Qa’ida had congratulated another group not affiliated with their organization. One week after the attack. These exercises were part of a broader U. Furthermore. Droukdal began filming all operations conducted by the GSPC and distributing these clips online in the same manner as Zarqawi (Guidère 2007). In fact. Droukdal realized that he could encourage internationalization by amending his membership roster. a long video filming the combatants who had participated in the operation was broadcast over the Internet in jihadist forums. Mauritanian and Chadian troops. leaders from Al Qa’ida and the GSPC signed a pact of fraternity (Jebnoun 2007). counterterrorism campaign in Africa. This recognition was particularly meaningful for the Algerian operatives because it made them feel more “secure” in their ventures. 75 . This was the first time that Droukdal actively sought to recruit from outside the Algerian ranks. The communiqué ended by urging the Islamic youth throughout North Africa to join the Algerian cause (Lecocq and Schrijver 2007). knowing that they had Al Qa’ida’s support. He began to recruit several operatives from abroad and encouraged his agents to train abroad and engage in jihadist activities in other nations in an effort to expand the GSPC’s global profile. Using this video. The statement also denounced the recent arrests and trials by Mauritanian authorities of dozens of Islamic extremists accused of having links to the GSPC. Shortly thereafter. in 2005.S.the “Flintlock Plan” by military officials.. Malian.

Thus. he murdered the hostages. When the Algerian government failed to respond. 2005). Prior to this effort. as evidenced by the frequency of his declarations and interchanges and his efforts to improve the 76 . Droukdal launched a systematic communications reform to improve the image of the GSPC amongst Algerians and the international Islamic community and to enable him to preach pan-Islamic sermons to his operatives. Zarqawi signaled his complicity with the GSPC by seizing two Algerian diplomats. Upon taking these hostages he promised to execute them unless the Algerian government withdrew its support for the war in Iraq. there were numerous GSPC media outlets transmitting information simultaneously. First of all. This system enabled the GSPC to elucidate several ambiguous arguments and clarify dubious information(Gray and Stockham 2008). Droukdal proposed a system of transmitting information whereby a central media committee would transmit all communiqués. including the attack in Mauritania and the execution of the Algerian diplomats with other attacks that occurred during the same time period (including the coordinated suicide bomb attacks on London’s public transport system that occurred on July 7. each GSPC katibat possessed its own media bureau and published its own communications regarding its operations and successes within its territory. Those communiqués not approved by this committee could be regarded as unauthentic.. the GSPC’s communications were characterized by a general cacophony and ataxia.In July 2005. Moreover. Droukdal responded by issuing a communiqué in which he thanked Zarqawi and extolled Al Qa’ida in Iraq (Guidère 2007). Consequently. Algerian security services contributed to this information overflow by distributing false reports on the GSPC’s channels. he sought to bracket the Algerian operations. During the summer of 2005. As a result. Droukdal’s leadership during this time period was primarily ideological in nature. he sought to centralize the GSPC’s communications.

intent on ensuring that the GSPC’s membership. Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al Qa’ida Central Command had stalled the merger for one year. The attack involved immaculate planning: the GSPC had surveyed the location for weeks and the day before. 2006. a group of combatants had penetrated the highly protected port. he expressed the 77 . VIII. the deputy leader of Al Qa’ida. Therefore. It is important to note that this announcement came one year after Droukdal had made his first forays to Al Qa’ida. Droukdal also directed several tactical changes to prepare his organization for international jihad.” He spoke of the need to suppress national borders in order to establish an Islamic caliphate and urged the immediate union of the nations of North Africa under Islamic law. thereby crystallizing the relationship. Moreover.GSPC’s reception nationally and internationally. announced the merger of Al Qa’ida and the GSPC. he published a communiqué affirming the GSPC’s allegiance to Al Qa’ida and bin Laden. could positively contribute to Al Qa’ida’s ideological appeals and combat operations. Droukdal personally supervised all the preparations (Moss 2008). under Droukdal. one cannot ignore the fact that prior to the official announcement of the merger of Al Qa’ida and the GSPC. His communiqué was particularly revelatory because it reflected the alleged changes in the official ideology of the GSPC. However. Two days later. 2005. On December 22. on the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Droukdal’s role as an ideological leader steering the GSPC’s internationalization through an assertive public relations drive continued after this announcement. This was the first time that the GSPC had led an attack against a maritime target. on September 11. two bombs exploded in the port de Delis. The Announcement of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb Finally. overall his leadership performance improved during this time period. His discourse supported pan-Islamic notions and highlighted the necessity of creating an “Islamic United States.

In changing the name of the GSPC to Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. he wanted to highlight its role in global jihad. Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb (AQIM). in an elaborate roadside bombing. Droukdal and his operatives began to target foreigners who continued to support secular regimes and proselytize their culture (specifically the United States. it was now time for him to change the name of his organization. Spain. KBR. Moreover. AQIM conducted an attack against a bus transporting employees from Brown & Root-Condor. nine of whom were wounded. in December 2006. a joint venture between a Halliburton subsidiary. Some scholars have suggested that AQIM remains sharply focused on its Kabylia strongholds despite Droukdals’s global rhetoric (Filiu 2009). Approximately six months later. The bomb attack killed an Algerian driver in a convoy transporting the workers. thereby easing the qualms of his subordinates (Guidère 2007). Droukdal issued another claim in which he suggested that after pledging allegiance to Islam and demonstrating his faith in Bin Laden. including 78 . and the Algerian stateowned oil company. Zawahiri himself refused to allow the group to call itself “Al Qa’ida in Algeria” since this name seemed too “local” and did not reflect the transnational and pan-Islamic agenda of Al Qa’ida (Guidère 2007). He expressed confidence in the specific competencies and ideological underpinning of Al Qa’ida’s leadership. For instance. Droukdal expressed concern about projecting a certain image of his organization to his base as well as the international community. This change would demonstrate the solidarity of Al Qa’ida and the GSPC. a few recent attacks indicate otherwise. IX. A New Organization In the months after the name change. Sonatrach. and France). however.sentiment that Al Qa’ida was the only group that could unite all Islamic combatants and steer the battle against the Coalition forces.

As a result of Droukdal’s press campaign. the GSPC was engaged in a war of attrition whereby combatants would descend from the mountains and attack the armed forces. Iraq and training camps in the Sahel to pursue international jihad. While Droukdal’s role was primarily ideological. 2007 demonstrated Droukdal’s new tactics.four Britons and one American. and the explosions was also transmitted. Two other cars were detonated beside a police station in the east of the Algerian capital (one at the seat of Interpol and the other at the 79 . On this day. killing at least 33 people and injuring others. Recent reports express fear that AQIM will be able to increased recruitment in Mauritania or Nigeria. in which AQIM admitted to the attack. Afghanistan. A lengthy film of the operation. Some specialists fear that AQIM could severely damage the energy sector in the Niger delta (Moss 2008). Chechnya. recruit. These recruits were then dispatched to Kashmir. Originally. and train potential terrorists. emulated the propaganda materials of Al Qa’ida in Iraq (Jebnoun 2007). attention should be paid to the tactical changes that he implemented. However. Droukdal disclosed a communiqué. intended to galvanize combatants and attract recruits. three cars driven by suicide bombers blew up in Algiers. Under his leadership. He encouraged his operatives to executed attacks inspired by the Iraqi model. The attacks that occurred on April 11. Always attentive to public reaction. in online jihadist forums about one month later. indoctrinate. This video. Droukdal encouraged the evolution from guerilla-oriented operations such as armed assaults to terror-oriented operations such as bombings. the use of firearms plummeted while the use of explosives augmented (Gyves and Wyckloff 2006). detailing the fabrication of the bombs. the surveillance and lookout. AQIM was able to establish communities in Europe to provide money. One bomber drove into the guard post at the government building housing the offices of the prime minister and the Interior Ministry.

In doing so. Final Observations 80 . X. As always. Droukdal was compelled to publish a communiqué to outline his intentions and defuse criticism. he expressed a message frequently articulated by Al Qa’ida. which could allow the Western power to use petroleum in Algeria for 100 years. Droukdal positioned his group as the defender of the riches of Muslim countries faced with avarice and imperialism of the West. thereby cementing the link between the two organizations (Guidère 2007). rigged vehicles. Droukdal criticized the adoption of an anti-Islamic policy allegedly championed by the Americans in their war against terrorism. Such spectacular attacks could also appeal to younger sympathizers (Algeria: Violence Returns 2007). simultaneous of the special forces of the police in Bab Ezzouar). this method consisted of engaging in spectacular attacks with a symbolic dimension that could destabilize the regime. Through this rhetoric. Now. These attacks utilized remote explosives and were thus less costly in human lives. The second justification for the attacks was the Algerian government’s military cooperation with the American forces. Moreover. To capitalize upon his operatives’ anti-colonialist concerns. They also demonstrated the professionalization of AQIM’s services. remote detonation. and sustainable fighting force. This also permitted AQIM officers to move from the periphery of Algeria back into its urban centers. kamikaze fighters. His communiqué suggested that the April 11 attacks were executed in response to a concession agreement with the United States. Droukdal suggested that this was the beginning of a foreign occupation and deemed it necessary to combat the Western presence in Algeria. Finally. an effective propaganda and selective recruitment were employed to make AQIM a formidable.

he reflected AQIM’s international focus and the growing ratio of attacks against foreign targets into an emphasis on international issues and threats against Western countries in AQIM’s statements. Moreover. each accompanied by a revealing and incantatory communiqué. Droukdal advanced the goal of undermining the secular Algerian regime while damaging the interests of Western nations (Black 2007). The merger. Through his communications. most particularly French interests. Thus. can only be explained by highlighting Droukdal’s ideological leadership and the major shifts that he pioneered on the propaganda front. Droukdal recognized that by aligning itself with Al Qa’ida. he effectively brought the Algerians insurgents out of isolation so they could work more closely with international Islamic networks to promote Islam. rather than confining itself to local activity. he directed an ideological shift – from a philosophy based on regional preoccupations to a more internationally oriented perspective. which had dramatically expanded since the September 11. Droukdal sought to effectively straddle the divide between local and international Islamic terrorism. AQIM continues to conducted several suicide attacks and roadside bombings. By uniting radical Islamists to attack Americana and French targets in northwestern Africa. attacks. and its success. when French police thwarted a series of bombings set to occur in Paris as Algerians voted on the National Charter for Peace and Reconciliation. He incited the organization to expand by attacking foreign targets.To this day. the GSPC could render itself capable of operating in the context of global jihad. After the ranks of his organization had been depleted at the turn of the twenty-first century. The US invasion of Iraq and media coverage of American detention and interrogation policies lent credence to the Qa’ida narrative that 81 . Droukdal recognized the global appeal of Al Qa’ida message. The most powerful French AQIM cell to date was dismantled in September 2005.

Thus. He saw clearly an opportunity for synergy. Having formulated an appropriate ideological stance. 82 . he was able to tap into local grievances and tie them to the global jihad against the west. ready-made networks that could be internationalized. Al Qa’ida’s global ideology intersected with local anger directed at the undemocratic regime would encourage jihadists’ activity in the Maghreb.portrayed isolated American actions as a coordinated war against Islam. Droukdal capitalized upon these trends by highlighting the importance of solidarity among the mujahedeen in face of Western aggression against Islam. A current of cultural Islamization was created that has increased Al Qa’ida’s attraction. he successfully aligned with Al Qa’ida to co-opt and exploit local.

two prominent Salafi jihadist groups operated in Egypt: Al-Gama’a alIslamiyya (GAI) and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. members of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya apologized for the group’s involvement in the Sadat assassination. GAI quickly gained strong support among the university students in both Cairo and Alexandria by recruiting mid-level leaders from the ranks of the unemployed university students who were disillusioned by Egypt’s lack of economic opportunities. GAI recruited more indigent. In addition. Both campaigned to overthrow the secular Egyptian government and to replace it with an Islamic regime. mass arrests. Why did GAI repudiate terrorism rather than affiliate with Al Qa’ida to continue its brutal campaign? I. Both broke with the Muslim Brotherhood over the latter’s commitment to nonviolence. However. an Egyptian fundamentalist writer and educator. Upon its birth. and instead based their ideology on the principles articulated by Sayyid Qutb. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat gave the group’s members free reign. renounced violence. and denounced Al Qa’ida. the Egyptian Islamic Jihad members joined forced with Al Qa’ida. However. Qina. Moreover. and Sohaj. and financial crackdowns during much of the 1990s. Asyu’. Both collaborated on the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and both fell victims to the bitter campaign of state violence. covertly supplying them with arms with which to defend themselves against potential attacks by Marxists or Nasserites. in the late 1990s. the GAI rejected the Muslim Brotherhood’s gradualist approach to change.Chapter 7: Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya: The Unrealized Merger In the early 1970s. uneducated individuals from 83 . his rivals. In contrast. The Emergence of the GAI from the Ashes of the Muslim Brotherhood Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya (GAI) was formally organized as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1973 in the Upper Nile regions of Al-Minya.

During Al-Rahman’s time abroad. He began rounding up several Islamic militants and placing them in jail. He provided the moral justifications for the group’s moneymaking attacks on Christian shopkeepers and small-business owners by his issuing fatwa – religious rulings that justify actions normally outlawed by the Koran (Abdel Maguid 2003). Perturbed by the rapid development and mobilization of the Salafi organizations in Egypt. including Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Omar Abdel Al–Rahman assumed the mantle as spiritual leader for the group during its infancy. Al-Rahman fled Egypt and toured the neighboring Arab countries.the southern rural regions of Assiuet and Minya to further populate their rank and file (Keats 2002). The Sadat Assassination Upon returning to Egypt in 1980. they established a branch devoted to jihad and began to execute increasingly violent operations. avoiding a sterner sentence on a technicality (Keats 2002). GAI leaders decided. where he found and developed financial supporters. II. Al-Rahman issued a fatwa that provided the religious justification for the assassination of President Sadat in 1981. Feldner. Fearing harsh repression (like that which the Muslim brotherhood has experienced under former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser). As a result of his policies. “A need [had] arisen for a military force for us to defend [themselves]” (Carmon. III. and Lav 2006). Sadat changed his political strategies to combat internal unrest in the mid 1970s. As a result of his role in the assassination. clashes between Egyptian security forces and Islamic movements in the universities increased. Crackdown under Mubarak 84 . AlRahman served six months in an Egyptian prison. Consequently. The GAI and Egyptian Islamic Jihad allegedly cooperated in this conspiracy.

Hosni Mubarak began a brutal campaign against Egypt’s militant groups that lasted throughout the 1980s. Campaign of Terror After the Soviet-Afghan war. again provided the religious justification for these attacks by arguing that tourism in Egypt fostered poor morals. Several were implicated in numerous plots directed against American diplomatic and military targets in the Balkans and other parts of Europe. During the 1990s.Sadat’s successor. Moreover. some GAI members returned to Egypt where they initiated a campaign against the influences of Western culture. they carried out a number of attacks on tourists that killed dozens of people. 85 . many fighters moved on to combat the Serbian forces that were decimating Bosnian Muslims in Yugoslavia. and Lav 2006). Feldner. Although fairly successful at curbing the number of violent attacks. many GAI members continued or commenced their training in Al Qa’ida facilities in the Sudan and Afghanistan. where they were active in the jihad against the Soviet Union. such as Osama Bin Laden. and spread diseases such as AIDS (Stacher 2002). Al-Rahman. and executions. During these years. following the Soviet withdrawal. this crackdown further radicalized the university-educated population. Some. torture. who had immigrated to the United States by this time. they trained and fought alongside al-Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad and other Afghan Arabs. who continued to struggle under high unemployment(Gerges 2000). Between 1992 and 1993. In Afghanistan. IV. His methods included false arrests. many GAI members and leaders fled to Afghanistan. even worked for businesses owned by Osama bin Laden in Somalia (Carmon. like Mustafa Hamza. a leading member of the GAI.

In 1993. including the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. Two months later. and a stop to agitation to commit attacks. he and nine other operatives were convicted for conspiring to destroy New York City landmarks. militants killed nine German tourists and their driver in front of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.In 1993. he and nine other operatives were convicting for conspiring to destroy New York City landmarks. During a court hearing. Yet despite his arrest. GAI continued to attack tourists throughout the 1990s and began targeting Egyptian business establishments as well. and banks. including the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. a GAI member read aloud a communiqué. This prompted some influential militants to reconsider their strategy and tactics and some GAI leaders renounced violence. Ethiopia. the group killed 63 people at a tourist site in Luxor (including four Egyptians and 59 foreign tourists. In 1995. bookstores. Collapse of an Armed Group As a result of GAI’s campaign in the late 1990s. The group bombed theaters. Al-Rahman was arrested in the United States in connection with the first World Trade Center bombing. which declared a halt to all armed operations within and outside Egypt. 1997. 86 . In 1996. Al-Rahman was arrested in the United States in connection with the first World Trade Center bombing. when the Luxor attack occurred. 36 of whom were Swiss) (Keats 2002). the group allegedly collaborated with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in a failed assassination attempt on President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa. arresting thousands of suspected terrorists and executing or killing others during police raids. several GAI leaders immediately conveyed their disgust. Cairo clamped down on both the GAI and Egyptian Islamic Jihad even more. Thus. V. GAI announced a unilateral initiative of conciliation with the Egyptian regime. signed by six of the organization's leaders. In 1996. In September 1997. On July 5.

it needed a publicity boost if it was to continue functioning as a viable terrorist organization. The Luxor attack and the reports of mutilation of the victims’ bodies had sparked public repulsion at GAI. supported non-violence and the ceasefire. moderate one. the group split into two factions. wanted to seize power in the GAI. a Netherlands resident announced his resignation (Cohen 2003). more radical faction.” thereby becoming a signatory to the International Islamic Front. Moreover. Consequently. Rifai Ahmad Taha courted bin Laden by making trips to Afghanistan and even appeared sitting next to him and Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a videotape released in September 2000 that threatened US interests. or simply saw the financial and organizational advantages that Al Zawahiri had reaped from making the decision to join Al Qa’ida. Zawahiri's organization experienced a major upset when in 1998 Albania agreed to extradite 12 members of EIJ to Egypt 87 . he was unable to recruit many of his cadres to support Bin Laden and a minimal number joined the global jihad (Botha 2006). After the schism. the GAI spokesman Osama Rushdie. organized by Mustafa Hamza. It is unclear whether Taha actually agreed with bin Laden’s views. the GAI was weakened both operationally and financially by the aftermath effects of the attack. Yet despite his efforts. In 1997. Moreover. The GAI had witnessed how the Egyptian Islamic Jihad had suffered significant setbacks because of its decision to join Al Qa’ida.insisting that the operation was not executed by the GAI. but rather by a breakaway faction (Ghadbian 2000). the larger. while the smaller. Therefore. led by Rifai Ahmad Taha deplored the ceasefire as cowardly and called for a return to armed operations. For instance. Taha signed Bin Laden’s 1998 Declaration of War against the “Jews and Crusaders. as a result of increased governmental scrutiny.

the historic leadership of the GAI has published a series of books. The GAI has not conducted a terrorist attack either inside or outside Egypt since August 1998. During his interview with Asharq al-Awsat. Ibrahim challenged Al Qa’ida’s Islamic credentials by emphasizing its dependence on violent struggle as a means to further its goals and suggested that Al Qa’ida was propagating a false definition of jihad. Nageh Ibrahim. the leadership issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to end violence. despite widespread skepticism in Egypt and abroad about the nature of its true 88 . stressed that significant differences in philosophy exist between the GAI and Al Qa’ida. most members of GAI preferred to go underground until the group regained its strength and influence rather than align with Al Qa’ida and risk further setbacks. in August 2006. Since this time. Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri. who remained the group’s spiritual leader. by then the closest associate of Osama bin Laden." he maintained. Reconciliation In 1999. He asserted that Al Qa’ida’s aggressive tactics have failed Muslims. “Their aim is jihad. Even Al-Rahman. a self-proclaimed leader of the underground group. even said the GAI owes the Egyptian people "an apology for the crimes which [the group] has committed against Egypt. known as the “Concept Correction Series” in which they renounce indiscriminate violence and extremist interpretations of the case known as the “Returnees from Albania” (Aboul-Enein 2004) Consequently. Karam Zuhdi. VI. the group’s historic leadership declared a unilateral ceasefire. GAI leadership in Egypt quickly rejected this claim. agreed to this measure. Nevertheless. a senior leader and chief ideological theorist for the GAI. announced that the GAI had merged with Al Qa’ida. despite their proclamations in favor of non-violence. In doing so. and our aim is Islam. Since this time. In 2002. We are even thinking of paying blood money to the victims” (Halawi 2002).

who were not already entrenched in Salafi jihadist circles. primarily to the establishment of an Islamic state in Egypt (Rabasa et al. While this decision may seem counterintuitive. GAI was well established and active prior to Al Qa’ida’s emergence in the international arena. GAI’s theoretical and operational priorities were the product of a literal reading of the Quranic and prophetic texts. tourists. police. they perceived their struggle as regionally confined to the Egyptian territory. Consequently. While they attacked Western targets. 2006). and exhibited strong anti-Western proclivities. when their group was in a state of imminent decline. They attacked Coptic Christians. evidence suggests that this choice was strategic. and the economy 89 . When GAI reemerged in the early 1990s with a renewed sense of purpose after the return of its members from the Afghan jihad. Moreover. secular institutions. VII. the GAI has concentrated its efforts on revising its former extremist worldview and distinguishing itself from Qa’ida (Zambelis 2006). Explaining the Decision not to Affiliate with Al Qa’ida The leadership of the GAI had longstanding connections with Al Qa’ida. They believed that their main foe was the Egyptian state and that the near enemy was more worthy of fighting than the distant enemy. and the media with the goal of undermining Egyptian state power. the ouster of the “illegitimate” governing power. its leaders were convinced that they could accomplish in Egypt what the mujahedeen had achieved in Afghanistan.intentions. GAI members were less receptive to Al Qa’ida’s ideology of global jihad than other groups that have emerged since that time. banks. politicians. which gave precedence to doctrinal correctness above all other issues. GAI interpreted their jihad much more narrowly than groups affiliated or associated with Al Qa’ida. they decided to renounce violent activity rather than appeal for Al Qa’ida for assistance to continue their existence as a terrorist group. however.

Reflecting on the seven years of GAI violence between 1992 and 1997. after its initiative to end the violence. Nevertheless. a former leader of GAI. He attempted to rationalize this earlier aggression by suggesting that adopting violence in 1992 " was mainly a reaction to what we saw as the suppression and killing of our brothers” (Carmon. reunite the groups’ ranks. the relative success of the government’s security policy obligated the group to concede to what its leaders called “military defeat. even with Al Qa’ida’s backing. and severe treatment in prisons and detention facilities. in the late 1990s. 90 . wider reading and understanding is evident in the sources on which the leadership relied to compose the revisionist books that they published (Halawi 2002). Thus. However. During their time in prison. deaths in armed clashes. the ranks of the leadership and general membership were decimated. This exceedingly severe security strategy disrupted the ranks and cohesion of GAI prompting the group’s leaders to reconsider its acts and concepts. this may have been a maneuver to buy time. Osama Rushdie. the groups’ leaders acquainted themselves with other schools of Islamic thought. admitted that the group was in a stronger position before it started attacking the government. In fact. by the turn of the century the group realized that it was useless to try to topple a powerful regime by force. the security establishment facilitated meetings between the group’s leader and members in Egyptian prisons to ensure that the group honored this commitment. and Lav 2006) It is possible that in mid-1997.” Between arrests. GAI were compelled to shift strategies as a political tactic.and creating the perception that the Egyptian government could not protect its citizens (Keats 2002). and prepare for a new offensive. Feldner. when several leaders of GAI announced its cease-fire initiative. Additionally. the effect of their new. stiff sentences that included dozens of executions.

the group abandoned its violent 91 .” When GAI was unable to achieve its political goal through terrorism. GAI acted on the basis of its calculation of the benefit to be gained from violent action.VIII. terrorists groups must conduct a sequence of directed attacks that creates a sufficient sense of threat for it to be understood that the campaign will continue unless and until there is a change in state policy (Freedman 2007). by definition. not to destroy the government’s military potential. the consequences of adopting a nonviolent position and the probability of achieving its political goals through terrorist undertakings. the costs of attempting violent attacks and of these attacks failing. GAI used terrorism to influence political behavior by devaluing the state in the eyes of its citizens. Thus. Acts of terror induce psychological effects. Even with some assistance from Al Qa’ida. which must fan out among a possibly substantial population. terrorism was a means to a political end. the bulk of which may be able to make a reasonable calculation that they are not a risk. However. Crenshaw’s description of the instrumental approach to assessing terrorist violence is useful for understanding GAI’s rationale. it was meant to produce a change in the Egyptian government’s political position. GAI would not have been able to defeat the Egyptian government. Final Observations For GAI. A constant failure to achieve its stated goals led to internal strife and its ultimate collapse as a terrorist group. one must note that terrorism depends on the ability to generate the appropriate level of terror and anxiety. they lack resources. they changed their strategic tactics. nor did GAI members have any interest in targeting the “far enemy. Accordingly. The costs of executing attacks became too high and the consequences of adopting a nonviolent position seemed promising (Crenshaw 1987). Terrorist organizations engage in a process of constant adaptation to the strategic environment and are apt to respond to policy-induced changes to their constraints since.

92 . GAI now appears to be concerned with carving out some political space to operate in Egypt.strategy. terrorism was merely a means to an end and substitutes were available. For GAI.

Abdelmalek Droukdal whose desire to revive his group inspired him to associate with Al Qa’ida while the examination of Al Gama’a al-Islamiyya demonstrates why strategic calculations can rouse other organizations to eschew violence and rebuff Al Qa’ida’s forays.e. or social bonds could motivate local jihadist leaders to enroll in Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. his loosely affiliated. While Osama bin Laden’s capture or death would be an important psychological blow to those vested in his invincibility. broad-based Al Qa’ida network augmented by affiliations with various groups has durability that will surpass his mortality.Chapter 8: Conclusion and Discussion – Al Qa’ida’s Commanding Officers: A Skilled Management Team To understand terrorist organizations. The data collected in this survey and analysis of Al Qa’ida’s leadership has significantly demonstrated that leaders were strongly incentivized by opportunism. the commanding officers that direct Al Qa’ida’s affiliates. It is naïve to focus on chief executives. Recent studies indicate that strategies aimed at enabling stringent police techniques and punitive military action will not succeed in deterring the Al Qa’ida suicide bombers(Atran 2003). while social bonds facilitated the process of affiliating (i. In the first chapters. social bonds served as a “permissive factor”). ideology. the analysis of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb provides an example of an intelligent and shrewd local jihadist leader. I posed the question: what motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida? I hypothesized that opportunism. it is necessary to examine the staff that operates at each level of the hierarchy within the system. interventions may need to be focused at understanding and disrupting Al Qa’ida’s mid-level management. Consequently. Moreover. like Osama bin Laden or Ayman Zawahiri or to concentrate on the suicide bombers who conduct operations. 93 .

Within the larger understanding of a terrorist group’s political aims.Previous studies depict terrorists as rational actors seeking to maximize political goals (Lake 2003). My data analysis and case studies support these conclusions. But what are these motives? In fact. it is not surprising that local jihadist group leaders have opportunistic motives for joining Al Qa’ida. Leaders. and counterinsurgency tactics” (Laitin and Jacob Shapiro 2008) Like individual terrorists. Psychological surveys indicate that terrorists are not psychologically deviant or ideologically blinded(Sageman 2004). the type of regime against which they are fighting. organizations must attract and retain members. the fundamental purpose of any political organization is to maintain itself. Counterterrorism efforts aimed at winning battles and capturing terrorist actors deplete the ranks of terrorist organizations by physically eliminating combatants. competition against other rebel groups. popular support. Since they are rational actors. when the costs of other forms of violence increase. Moreover. as was the case with the GSPC (Sederberg 1995). wish to enhance and promote the organizations that they direct since their personal ambitions are tied to the organization’s viability (Cronin and Ludes 2004). Factionalism is also common amongst terrorist organizations. there may be a divergence of opinion on precisely what objectives should be 94 . or both. One should consider terrorism as “one of a set of rebel tactics that is consciously selected in response to changes in funding. groups may lose members to other terrorist groups when a competing group can put together a package of purposive goals and selective incentives that is more appealing than that of the first organization. in particular. Conciliation programs can be a successful counter-terrorism strategy when amnesty is offered to operatives who renounce violence. insurgent groups should also be perceived as rational entities that are more likely to adopt terrorist tactics when the benefits of other forms of violence decrease. In order to survive.

when they occupy a “moral high ground”). However. Al Qa’ida probably has several thousand members and associates. like the GAI. Al Qa’ida trained over 5. and those with inside knowledge of the military and police(Gray and Stockham 2008). some groups may find it beneficial to renounce violence and enter the political arena. When loss of membership occurs. transforming from an armed group into a political party is no easy feat. When this occurs. combatants. For example. Recruiters for Al Qa’ida reportedly told researchers that volunteers were “beating down their doors” to join (Atran 2004). many groups may choose to align with Al Qa’ida to remain salient. their public image shifts from well-intentioned revolutionaries to common delinquents. including suicide bombers.000 militants in camps in Afghanistan. Al Qa’ida’s recruitment has picked up in 30-40 countries. security sources in Algeria said that the Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb offensive in August 2008 reflected the recruitment of scores of operatives. Thus. Groups only enjoy popular support when the population believes their actions are justified under the political conditions of the country (i.e. Since the 1980s. This divergence compels operatives to defect. Finally. Bin Laden and Al Qa’ida’s elite cadre have convinced many volunteers to fulfill the duty of jihad and to thus respond to “the call of Allah. Al Qa’ida can transfer operatives to help support the local jihadist group since Al Qa’ida’s own recruitment is accelerating. groups may alienate the communities in which they operate by conducting particularly violent or poorly executed operations (Crenshaw 1991). In recent years. Thus. especially in less democratic nations. making recruitment amongst these communities increasingly difficult.pursued. Al Qa’ida can easily dispatch a few combatants to assist local groups in desperate need of increased membership and expertise. 95 .” While it is impossible to know precisely the size of Al Qa’ida due to the decentralized structure of its organization.

In doing so. of coalition soldiers shooting wounded insurgents inside a mosque. they are perceived as legitimate actors. the Muslim warriors of the crusader period) by establishing a territorial base for Islam and by protecting those who are oppressed by foreign domination(Henzel 2005). Bin Laden has created a company called al-Sahab. Al Qa’ida is a high-value global brand that is esteemed amongst the Salafi community. primarily by means of the Qatari television station al-Jazeera. upon aligning with Al Qa’ida. Al Qa’ida also selects sympathetic journalists to whom it grants interviews (Schweitzer 2008). Recognizing the powerful potential of the media. Al Qa’ida uses propaganda to foster its positive public image as the defender of Islam.e. groups gain credibility and respect that can be effectively leveraged to increase recruitment. as discussed in Chapter 3. However. their social status is enhanced. By aligning with Al Qa’ida. Before joining forces with Al Qa’ida. which produces the professional tapes and promotional film clips disseminated throughout the Arab and Western world. depicting its operatives as “freedom fighters.Additionally. striving for global jihad. Al Qa’ida raises awareness amongst Muslims of the grievances that gave rise to its birth.” To supplement recruitment. These journalists present Al Qa’ida to the outside world in a supportive manner. Al Qa’ida encourages potential operatives to follow in the footsteps of their pious predecessors (i. Al Qa’ida established a communications committee to promote this representation through a well-executed publicity campaign. Through a program of propaganda and indoctrination. or of occupation forces stepping with their boots on the backs of Arabic men that have just been bound 96 . Therefore. many terrorist groups are compared to criminal gangs. Al Qa’ida has substantially promoted and publicized its image throughout the globe. To complement this strategy. In fact. For instance. recruits are shown provocative photos of Iraqi women and children killed or bloodied by Western bombardment.

Moreover. Ansar al-Islam was started with $300. Because of that. even death. For example. known as Muklhas. Al Qa’ida’s veterans can offer groups tactical and strategic advice. Thus. known as Hambali and Ali Gufron. etc.000 of Al Qa’ida seed money (Ward 2005). Abdelmalek Droukdal certainly modeled his publicity efforts on that of Al Qa’ida and benefited from advice from Al Qa’ida’s media branch. Riduan Isamuddin. due to its exceptional intelligence-gathering skills. Al Qa’ida also attributes Muslim societies’ “greatest misfortune and decadence to their abandonment of jihad due to the love of this world and abhorrence of death. For instance. Al Qa’ida established numerous local military training facilities in Mindanao and Indonesia in the last two decades. tyrants gained dominance over the Muslims in every aspect and every land”(Calvert 2004). Al Qa’ida’s affiliates learn from Al Qa’ida how to conduct comparable propaganda campaigns in their home countries to attract and enhance their own recruitment efforts. helped Jemaah Islamiyah plan and execute the 2002 Bali bombing that killed more than 2000 people (Abuza 2003).and forced to the ground with black sacks over their faces. nature of the military and intelligence services. Finally. and weapons. 97 . Al Qa’ida can offer groups financial resources. financial services. equipment. both alumni of the Afghan jihad. Al Qa’ida can help groups conduct attacks. and mentored. According to several reports. indoctrinated. physical environment. Such emotional narratives highlight the theme of humiliation at the hand of callous and arrogant Western powers(Hafez 2007). Al Qa’ida is infamous for providing terrorist training and for establishing sites and camps where recruits are educated. It can also offer groups information on the government.000 to $600. it effectively encourages redemption through faith and sacrifice.

rather than abandon their mission. Instead. Also.Conducting attacks connotes a high degree of devotion and strength to potential recruits. Moreover. By joining Al Qa’ida. Due to these associations. but also create and promote “heroes” that represent the organization. strategies should be developed to isolate these groups from Al Qa’ida. it may be futile for counterterrorist forces to discourage local jihadist group leaders from soliciting Al Qa’ida. demonstrate that the organization has a loyal and impassioned following. just as a conventional military organization might glamorize its heroes to inspire others to volunteer for field military actions. Efforts should ensure that the necessary resources (both human and 98 . Since Al Qa’ida provides local jihadist group leaders with numerous opportunities to stimulate and expand their organizations. local jihadist group leaders are positioned to seek assistance from their colleagues when decline within their own organizations seems imminent. martyrdom operations not only produce spectacular incidents of large-scale destruction. Such missions create publicity events that effectively advertise the organization and psychologically appeal to individual needs to feel important and meaningful through membership in a “higher” movement (Atran 2003). the results of this study suggest that most local jihadist group leaders have already established significant social bonding and networking with members of Al Qa’ida Central Command. While not a precipitant cause for an affiliation. and because such affiliations are not difficult to initiate due to the existence of prior social connections. in particular. social networks can be thought of as a stipulation that pre-structures and facilitates the merger process. Suicide attacks. thereby making such affiliations more problematic and risky. local jihadist leaders are presented with appealing and cost effective opportunities to bolster their own recruitment and ensure organizational survival and their ability to achieve their political aims without abandoning arms and investigating political avenues.

former Secretary of Homeland Security. stolen cars and other stolen property as well as biometric data. To thwart Al Qa’ida’s connections with local jihadist groups. they are less likely to survive or recuperate from setbacks. Bin Laden has devoted less attention and resources to AQIM. For instance. Since the Iraqi branch of Al Qa’ida suffered this setback. it is necessary to treat carefully because restrictive “fortress” responses and sweeping immigrant surveillance hinder cooperation with key immigrant. state borders were opened to international trade flows. governments should implement a networked border monitoring and border control system. A model system is that which is utilized in the European Union. If groups are precluded from affiliating with Al Qa’ida. However. third-country nationals refused entry to the EU and individuals 99 . and illegal migrants” (Ross 2003). Throughout the 1990s. communities. In the age of globalization. Tom Ridge. border control measures must be established to prevent the movement of terrorists and terror-related materials. some suggest that AQIM’s globalization process has been impeded by the expulsion of AL Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) from Baghdad in 2008. In areas like the Core Arab states and the Maghreb. weapons of mass destruction. thereby crippling its ability to supersede a regional dimension (Filiu 2009). Unilateral approaches to border control will leave a mismatch of contradictory national cannot be exchanged between Al Qa’ida and its weaker partner. previous asylum applications. especially Muslim. The new Schengen Information System computer database contains information on criminals on the run. portrayed US borders as “conduits for terrorists. Thus. terrorists have learned how to make legal immigration channels and legitimate immigrant communities serve their lethal jihadist ends. This system is also used to store and disseminate information on extradition. which features a common visa policy and region-wide fingerprint or iris photography database.

granted more interviews. an understanding might be developed of what government initiatives trigger terrorist organizations to seek partnerships with Al Qa’ida and of the strength of the alliance that materializes as a result. etc. gave more speeches. For example. I considered leadership roles before and after the affiliation to uncover trends. Future research will center on the development of predictive models based on emerging patterns among terrorist groups that align with Al Qa’ida. 100 . The second question that I sought to answer involved the type of role local jihadist leaders played within Al Qa’ida. police training. One impressive program was the East Africa Counter Terrorism Initiative. Future research may also focus on how alliances mature and evolve over time since this article focuses on aspects of maturity among terrorist groups who have engaged in networking with Al Qa’ida. These predictive models could be used in order to develop strategies for a pre-emptive counter-response. The United States can provide assistance to foreign governments to enhance operational capacity to tighten border controls.subject to a European arrest warrant or under surveillance for criminal activity(One Single EU Border 2005) A system for region-wide arrests would also be useful in areas where terrorist activity is high. While there were no significant patterns in the data on the operational and logistic role of the leaders profiled. counterterrorist forces can better undermine these leaders. After the merger. the leaders issued more communiqués. whereby $50 million for security programs administered by the US Department of Defense was offered to East African states to provide for military training for border control and security of the coastline. it appears that most leaders took on an increasingly ideological role after the merger. and aviation security capacity (Kagwanja 2006). By understanding what function local jihadist leaders play.

Siad Barre. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are tightly coupled to their operatives. one must consider the philosophy and ambitions of local jihadist groups compared to Al Qa’ida. Central to Al Qa’ida’s vision is the awakening of the Muslim ummah. and regional concerns. In contrast. interactive communication patterns. al-Ittihad al-Islami was established in the 1980s through the merger of Salafi groups. and subordinate loyalty. he demands that his commanding officers convince their operatives to adopt and accept Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. For example. they gained the support of the Somali people through nationalist causes more than through a common affinity for Salafism. leader-member value agreement. Al Qa’ida conceives its resistance as a single. Consequently. The roots of most of the terrorist networks included in this study can be traced to geographically separate. ethno-religious struggles. As mentioned in earlier chapters. These groups enjoyed popularity in Somalia in the 60s due to their attempts to regain lost Somali land after independence and to their resistance to dictator. Although Bin Laden wants to align with local militant groups with country-specific grievances to increase his global reach and influence. unified struggle that transcends local.To understand why this increase in evangelizing and political activity of these leaders occurs. The leaders of local jihadist groups develop differentiated relationships with their 101 . a high degree of decision influence. an affiliation will not occur. When local jihadist leaders are not interested in promoting this agenda. state. effective influence tactics. The dyadic relationship between these leaders and their followers is characterized by high quality leader-member exchange resulting from frequent communication. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are uniquely positioned to persuade uncommitted followers that Al Qa’ida has a better ideology. as was the case with the GAI. the worldwide community of believers(Sutton and Vertigans 2006). an ideology that was widely unpopular in the country in previous years (West 2006).

the GSPC was encouraged to engage in suicide and arson attacks(Guidère 2007). as Droukdal did on numerous occasions. Thus. In doing so. through their ideological operations. in which they clarify their vision. Moreover. Because they know their audience well. followers are encouraged to take personal initiative and exercise personal leadership to make their unit more effective. For instance. When the security situation does not permit direct communications. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers correspond with their cohorts through communiqués. When a group first affiliates with Al Qa’ida. they can apply effective message management. due to their close relationship with operatives. and spin. Due to such high quality leader-member exchange. Like Al 102 . and interviews. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers can convince their operatives to integrate their previous regional ambitions with a wider transnational Islamic agenda. rhetoric. Valuable insights can be gained by considering the role that managers play when two companies merge in order to understand the role that Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play in mitigating culture shock and encouraging integration. they subordinate their radical group to Al Qa’ida’s strategic goals and move their localized Islamic resistance beyond sovereign state boundaries to transcend provincial frames of reference.rapports. operatives must also integrate new tactics and strategies into their repertoire. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers can ground their message in the narrative elements most likely to resonate with this target group. Based on these motivational communications. rather than using an average leadership style. speeches. followers trust their leaders and can be persuaded to engage in activities that they otherwise would not and can be encouraged to move beyond their own self-interest to focus on larger mutual interests(Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995). In addition to accepting Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. culture shock is inevitable.

transition mangers assume full-time responsibility and accountability for making integration work. Soon after the GSPC announced its merger with Al Qa’ida. This can only be achieved by providing ideological guidance through leadermember exchanges and through public communications and appearances. When corporate mergers occur. These are identical to Dr. major change and generate a great deal of uncertainty due to the fact that organizational cultures are underpinned by deep assumptions that are constant. patterned. Droukdal issued a communiqué explaining and justifying this repositioning. one of the most common difficulties that arise during the merger is “cultural differences. shared vision of future organizational arrangements (Marks and Mirvis 2000). The threat to old corporate values and organizational lifestyle leaves organizational members in a state of defensiveness accentuated by low levels of trust within the institution. transition managers must make the case for integration to large numbers of employees.” For example. In addition. For Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers and corporate transition managers. Employees’ reactions most often pass through four distinct stages. mergers represent sudden. next emotional bargaining begins.Qa’ida’s commanding officers. finally acceptance occurs. Both transition managers and Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers must be skilled in relinquishing and helping others relinquish past values and practices that are not in tune with the current. often accompanied by frustration and depression. They commence with disbelief and denial and pass into anger and then rage and resentment. and shared. Helen Kubler-Ross’s four stages of bereavement or 103 . the burden of responsibility still rests on the commanding officers to assuage their followers after the affiliation with Al Qa’ida commences. a corporation may encourage teamwork while the venture it subsumes may be more oriented towards individual initiatives. Although some of the groups that Al Qa’ida merges with have less than five hundred operatives.

These initiatives can only be achieved by assuming an ideological role (Kavanagh and Ashkanasy 2006). and support necessary changes in behaviors and culture to successfully realize the post-combination organization. In this context. They must assuage their followers’ fears and convince them of the saliency and relevance of the new program through constant communication. and desired end state. optimism. they should clarify critical success factors for the merger. 104 . like Droukdal. leadership can be viewed as the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations (Covin et al. Moreover. anticipate the impact of change. When a merger occurs. Effective leaders possess powerful persuasive personal characteristics and execute actions designed to change internal organizational culture and substance. It is their responsibility to define. and address inconsistencies between the espoused operating principles and actual management of change. A wide range of factors affect organizational change as produced during a merger. Leaders.grief. 1997). Finally. they should serve as role models on how to “work together” for the goals of the organization. What the operative grapples with is akin to the “death” of the previous organization and the letting go of this relationship (Cartwright and Cooper 1990). and a sense that the future will be better than the past through their speeches and other outreach activities. Communication should be their major priority throughout the merger process. they must inspire hope. successfully promote change by implementing and campaigning for a unique vision of the organization through a publicity campaign. principles. Leaders hoping to initiative organizational change and general follower acceptance face a daunting task. promote. transition managers (and Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers) must define the new “combination” goals. Finally.

In fact. like the GAI.Understanding Al Qa’ida’s commanding officer’s role as transition managers during a merger is important when designing initiatives to undermine their efforts. Moreover. several leaders of GAI and Al-Jihad al-Islami. have taken steps to promote peaceful co-existence with the government and society(Gunaratna and Ali 2009). The media has become a crucial battlefield in the current conflict against radical Islamic terrorism (Blanchard 2006). another principle Islamist militant group in Egypt. government communications strategy should build an attractive alternative to the Al Qa’ida worldview by appealing to a sense of deracinated nationalism. It is important to remember that some groups. do opt to renounce violence. For example. especially religious ones. counterterrorist units should channel messages through volunteers in Internet forums(Brachman and McCants 2006). For instance. This program should expose tension between Al Qa’ida leadership and supporters. My data indicates that these commanding officers are leading Al Qa’ida’s growing media offensive. Thus. Counterterrorist forces can also harness the power of the “Shayma effect” (which refers to an incident where an Egyptian schoolgirl was killed in a jihadist attack) by broadcasting images off jihadist attacks that have killed Muslim children. messaging should refute the imputation of malign Western intention in the Muslim world and undermine the notion that terrorism is authentically Islamic. For 105 . authorities can publicize the rejection of Al Qa’ida by credible local figures. Such propaganda will appeal to communities anxious to retain their cultural heritage and religious integrity. Proxies must manage from affair and this sort of counter-terrorism publicity campaign. Counterterrorism units can use media organizations to launch global propaganda pushes that will taint the Al Qa’ida brand and make it even less attractive to local militants. Approaching communications in this manner ensures that the government avoids exacerbating feelings of alienation within Muslim communities.

Our government should also realize this truism. and a war with no truce” (Payne 2009). Ayman Al Zawahiri acknowledges that the struggle between the secular governments in the West and the militant jihadists of Al Qa’ida is a “battle of ideologies. along with their PCS and data files. Salafi and Islamist communities in London have consistently demonstrated skill.instance. The leaders of the Western world should follow suit. The collapse of Al Qa’ida’s propaganda operations will also cause the Arab media to move towards more coverage of the legitimate Iraqi government. the government should continue to capture Al Qa’ida news and production staff. This study indicates that Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are playing an increasingly ideological role. Ed Husain and Shiraz Maher were two young British Muslims who became involved with radical Islamist politics with Hizb ut-Tahir before renouncing their affiliation and speaking out publicly about the dangers of intolerant Islamism (MacEoin 2007). a struggle for survival. courage and commitment in countering al-Qaida propaganda and recruitment activity. Moreover. 106 .

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The Outer Rings of the Terrorist Universe. 2009]. 2006. Perliger. Post. 2009]. and Maoz Rosenthal.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 32(2): 109-128. Michael. “Complexity Theory and Al-Qaeda: Examining Complex Leadership . and Phillip Mirvis. Bruce. Russ.” International Herald Tribune. McAllister.” Defense Studies 7(3): 338-357. 2009. and Alliances: Creating an Effective Transition Structure.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 32(2): 367-386. 2006. “Managing Mergers. Mayer. “The terrorists in their own words: Interviews with 35 incarcerated Middle Eastern terrorists. Shaul. “Al Qaeda Strikes Back. “Al Qaeda as a Dune Organization: Toward a Typology of Islamic Terrorist Organizations. M. “Leadership in complex organizations. Mitchell. “Winning the Battle of Ideas: Propaganda. J. Pedahzur. Kenneth. Acquisitions. 2001. 2003. 1949-99. 2005. Payne. Kenneth. 2003. Michael. and L.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 28(4): 275-293.euractiv. Denny. “The Legend and Legacy of Abu Musab Rabasa. Weinberg. A. 2007. E.” Emergence 5(1): 54-76. and Mary Uhl-Bien. and Mary Uhl-Bien. Bruce. Euractiv. Mishal. 2005. 2008.. 2004. “Beyond Al Qaeda: Part 2.iht. insurgents gain a lifeline from Al Qaeda . “Unilateral presidential powers: Significant executive orders. “In Algeria. One Single EU Border. and Terror.Emergence. 2000.php?page=2 [Accessed March 17. Marion. [Accessed May 18. Angel et al. Ideology.” Riedel.” Foreign Affairs 86(3): 24-40. “Altruism and fatalism: The characteristics of Palestinian suicide terrorists. George. 2007. Moss.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 27(4): 297-319.” Terrorism and Political Violence 15(1): 171-184. 2002. Available at: http://www.Marion. and L. Marks. Available at: http://www.” The Leadership Quarterly 12(4): 389-418. A.” Deviant Behavior 24(4): 405-424.. Russ. “ Al Qaeda and the Innovative Firm: Demythologizing the Network. and Kevin Price. 112 .” Organizational Dynamics 28(3): 35-47.

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Appendix I: List of Terrorist Groups Merger al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at al-Tawhid walJihad) Egyptian Islamic Jihad al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly Groupe Salafist pour la Prédication et le Combat) Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Partnership Ansar al-Islam/Jund alIslam/Ansar al-Sunnah Asbat al-Ansar Taliban Islamic Jihad Union Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Lashkar-e-Taiba Tunisian Combatant Group Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group Jemaah Islamiya Abu Sayyaf Harkat ul-Ansar/Harakat ul Mujahidin Jaish-e-Mohammad al-Ittihaad al-Islami Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement Collaboration Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan Yemen Islamic Jihad Aden Abyan Islamic Army Unaffiliated (Control) Al-Gama’a alIslamiyya 115 .

S. Karouny.”” New York Times.02. 2009]. The Osama Bin Laden I Know. Ned.washingtonpost.Appendix II: Sources by Terrorist Group Al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at alTawhid wal-Jihad) Benson. Available at: http://www. Eben. Available at: http://www. 2009].” The Washington Post. Available at: http://www. 2009].cnn.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16576&Itemid=131 [Accessed January 2.nytimes. Rutenberg. 2006a. DoD News Briefing. 2007.aspx?id=16029 [Accessed January 3. “Shadowy Trail of al-Qaida in Iraq Leader.132/search?q=cache:74UX2mQ_i-0J:www. 2006b. “President Links Qaeda of Iraq to Qaeda of 9/11. 2006. Knickmeyer. Bergner. “Masri Now Leads Iraq Al Qaeda. Kaplan.” Operation Iraq Freedom: Official Website of the Multi-National Force .html [Accessed January 2. Smith. 2008. Jim. “Al Qaeda in Iraq Chooses Zarqawi Successor.mnfiraq. “U. 2009].mil/news/briefingslide. Peter L.” Backgrounder.aspx?briefingslideid=309 [Accessed January 2. and Jonathan Finer. MSNBC. and Jonathan Finer. Available at: http://www.” The Washington Post: 2009].: Senior al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Held. 2009]. 2007. 2007. Available at: http://www.” The Washington Post: A22. “Insurgent Leader Al-Zarqawi Killed in Iraq.” CNN.” Boston.html [Accessed January 2. and Ibon Villelabeitia. Coalition Officials 2006.” The Washington Post. Available at: http://74. Available at: http://www. 2009].capture/index. Garamone. 2009].com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/08/AR2006060800114. 116 . [Accessed March 4. Kevin. Ellen.Iraq. 2009]. “Starr Reports Live from Ramadi Iraq. New Al-Qaida in Iraq Leader Reported . “Al-Qaeda in Iraq Leader May Be in Afghanistan. Available at: http://www.cfr. Multinational Force .org/publication/10894/ [Accessed March 4. Knickmeyer. “Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. 2009].S.pdf+khalid+almashadani&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=24&gl=us&client=firefox-a [Accessed January 2. Kathy. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq Update.ece [Accessed March 4. Wolf. “Maliki Aide Who Discussed Amnesty Leaves Job.defenselink. Available at: http://transcripts.cjtf7. Blitzer. Department of Defense. 2007. 2007.washingtonpost. Available at: http://www. 2009].Iraq.” The Times of London. Available at: Ellen.msnbc. Jim.125. Gannon. U. 2009]. MNF-I Press Brief – Operational Update . Available at: http://www. Available at: 2006. Department of Defense. 2008.” The Situation Room.html [Accessed March 2006. “The Mysterious Heir to al-Zarqawi .html [Accessed March 3.cnn. and Mark Mazzetti. and Rana Gargour-Sabbagh. New York: Free 2009].html [Accessed January 2. Parker. [Accessed January 3.45. Zarqawi's Mysterious Successor (aka Abu Ayub al-Masri) .com/2007/WORLD/meast/07/18/iraq. Pam.

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Appendix III: Commanding Officer Attribute Codebook Type of merger Formal merger Strong affiliation (partnership) Loose affiliation (collaboration) No affiliation Primary motive Secondary motive Not a motive Primary motive Secondary motive Not a motive Primary motive Secondary motive Not a motive Strong leadership Average leadership Weaker leadership Not applicable (Was not active in the organization at the time) 4 3 2 1 2 1 0 2 1 0 2 1 0 3 2 1 Opportunism Pan-Islamic ideology Social network Operational leadership Ideological leadership Logistic leadership 0 135 .

Appendix IV: Leadership Attributes Organization name Ansar al-Islam/Jund alMullah Krekar Islam/Ansar al-Sunnah Ansar al-Islam/Jund alAbdullah Shafi Islam/Ansar al-Sunnah al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at Abu Musab al-Zarqawi al-Tawhid wal-Jihad) al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at Abu Ayub Al-Masri al-Tawhid wal-Jihad) al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at Abu Khalil al-Souri al-Tawhid wal-Jihad) Abu Muhjin Asbat al-Ansar Mohammed Omar Taliban Ayman Al Zawahiri Egyptian Islamic Jihad Sayyed Imam Al-Sharif Egyptian Islamic Jihad Islamic Movement of Tahir Yuldashev Uzbekistan Islamic Movement of Juma Namangani Uzbekistan Najmiddin Jalolov Islamic Jihad Union Tariq al-Fasdli Yemen Islamic Jihad Zein al-Abideen alAden Abyan Islamic Mehdar Army Aden Abyan Islamic Khalid al-Nabi al-Yazidi Army Maulana Saadatullah Khan Harkat ul-Ansar/Harakat ul Mujahidin Harkat ul-Ansar/Harakat ul Mujahidin Harkat ul-Ansar/Harakat ul Mujahidin Leader name Organization type Core Arab Cluster Core Arab Cluster Organization Date of Ideological country or foundin Date of Type of Opportunistic Alignment Social network origin g affiliation affiliation motives? ? affiliations? Iraq Iraq 2001 2001 2001 2001 3 3 2 2 0 0 1 1 Ideological Logistic Operational leadership leadership leadership preprepre-merger merger? merger? 1 0 3 0 3 0 Operational leadership postmerger? 1 3 Ideological leadership postmerger? 3 2 Logistic leadership postmerger? 2 1 Core Arab Cluster Iraq 1999 2004 4 2 0 1 3 2 3 3 3 2 Core Arab Cluster Iraq 1999 2004 4 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 2 Core Core Core Core Core Arab Arab Arab Arab Arab Cluster Cluster Cluster Cluster Cluster Iraq Lebanon Afghanistan Egypt Egypt Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Uzbekistan Yemen Yemen Yemen 1999 1986 1994 1987 1987 1998 1998 2002 1990 1990 1990 2004 2000 1996 1998 1998 1998 1998 2005 1992 1998 1998 4 3 3 4 4 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 2 3 3 1 2 3 3 3 2 2 0 2 2 3 3 3 1 1 3 2 3 0 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 0 2 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 3 3 0 3 1 2 3 3 3 1 2 2 2 0 2 2 2 3 2 2 Core Arab Cluster Core Arab Cluster Core Arab Cluster Core Arab Cluster Core Arab Cluster Core Arab Cluster Southern Asian cluster Pakistan 1985 1998 2 2 1 0 3 2 1 0 0 0 Fazlur Rehman Khalil Southern Asian cluster Pakistan 1985 1998 2 1 2 1 1 2 3 2 3 3 Farooq Kashmiri Khalil Riaz Basra Akram Lahori Hafiz Mohammad Saeed Maulana Abdul Wahid Kashmiri Maulana Masood Azhar Sheikh Ali Warsame Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys Hassan Abdullah Hersi al-Turki Sheikh Khalil Mohammed Amer Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Lashkar-e-Taiba Lashkar-e-Taiba Jaish-e-Mohammad al-Ittihaad al-Islami al-Ittihaad al-Islami al-Ittihaad al-Islami Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement Southern Asian cluster Southern Asian cluster Southern Asian cluster Southern Asian cluster Southern Asian cluster Southern Asian cluster African cluster African cluster African cluster African cluster Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Somalia Somalia Somalia Eritrea 1985 1996 1996 1990 1990 2000 1984 1984 1984 1988 1998 1999 1999 2001 2001 2000 1991 1991 1991 1998 2 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 1 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 1 1 3 3 1 0 2 0 3 0 3 3 1 1 2 0 3 0 2 0 3 3 2 1 1 3 2 3 1 3 2 2 3 3 2 1 3 2 3 1 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 3 3 2 136 .

Hassan Hattab al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly Groupe Salafist pour la prédication et le combat) Maghreb Arab cluster al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly Groupe Salafist pour la prédication et le combat) Maghreb Arab cluster al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly Groupe Salafist pour la prédication et le combat) Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Tunisian Combatant Group Tunisian Combatant Group Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group Jemaah Islamiya Jemaah Islamiya Jemaah Islamiya Abu Sayyaf Abu Sayyaf Abu Sayyaf Algeria 1996 2005 4 2 0 0 3 3 3 0 0 0 Nabil Sahraoui Algeria 1996 2005 4 2 1 1 3 2 1 0 0 0 Abdelmalik Droukdal Anas Sebai Tarek Ben Habib Maaroufi Saifallah Ben Hassine Mohammed Al Karbouzi Taeb Bentizi Abu Bakar Bashir Abu Rusdan Abu Dujana Abdurajak Janjalani Khadaffy Janjalani Yasser Igasan Maghreb Arab cluster Maghreb Arab cluster Maghreb Arab cluster Maghreb Arab cluster Maghreb Arab cluster Maghreb Arab cluster Southeast Asian cluster Southeast Asian cluster Southeast Asian cluster Southeast Asian cluster Southeast Asian cluster Southeast Asian cluster Algeria Libya Tunisia Tunisia Morocco Morocco Indonesia Indonesia Indonesia Philippines Philippines Philippines 1996 1995 2000 2000 1993 1993 1993 1993 1993 1991 1991 1991 2005 1997 2000 2000 2001 2001 1998 1998 1998 1991 1991 1991 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 3 3 3 1 1 2 1 3 1 3 2 3 1 2 1 2 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 3 1 2 3 3 1 3 1 3 3 2 3 3 3 1 1 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 2 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 137 .

Appendix V: Data on Universe of Cases Figure 1: Number of Affiliations by Year Number of Affiliations by Year 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Year Figure 2: Distribution by Type of Affiliation Figure 3: Distribution by Region 138 .

5 1.28936E-06 Ideological Alignment 22 19 20.67 13.5 0.60648E-06 Table 2: Statistical Significance Testing (Two Scales) Opportunistic Motive Not a motivation Motivation Expected (Not a motivation) Expected (Motivation) P Value 5 36 20.67 1.5 0.Appendix VI: Data on Q1 What motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida’s and its pan-Islamic agenda? Table 1: Chi-Squared Test (Three Scales) Opportunistic Motive Total 0 (Not a motivation) Total 1 (Secondary motivation) Total 2 (Primary motivation) Expected Total 0 Expected Total 1 Expected Total 2 P Value 5 Ideological Alignment 22 Social Network Affiliation 14 3 33 13.5 20.14786E-09 11 8 13.67 1.67 0.67 13.5 20.042330234 139 .67 13.639411853 Social Network Affiliation 14 27 20.018767854 27 0 13.67 13.5 20.67 13.67 13.

5 7.5 9.5 10.5 9.5 0.256764552 5 8.5 17 5 8.021962838 5 5.5 14 16. and logistic leadership before and after the merger) Operational Before Total Not active (0) Total Weak (1) Total Average (2) Total Strong (3) Total Expected Not active Expected Weak Expected Average Expected Strong 7 10 After Sum 4 5 11 15 Ideological Before 6 7 After Sum 4 10 10 17 Logistic Before 6 8 After Sum 4 3 10 11 7 17 41 12 20 41 19 37 82 16 12 41 5 22 41 21 34 82 11 16 41 17 17 41 28 33 82 5. ideological.Appendix VII: Data on Q2 What type of role do local jihadist leaders play within Al Qa’ida’s network when the organization for which they are responsible affiliates with Al Qa’ida? Table 3: Chi-Squared Test (Strength of operational.5 17 0.5 10.5 14 16.262682055 P Value 140 .5 7.5 0.5 5.5 18.5 5 5.5 18.

1269 19 217 11.95 Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Overall Leadership Performance (pre-post) 9 5 -1.359 0. and logistic leadership before and after the merger) Paired Sign Test for Operational Leadership Performance (pre-post) # Differences >0 # of Differences <0 # Differences =0 P-Value 10 16 15 0.614 10 162.5 16. and logistic leadership before and after the merger) Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Operational Leadership Performance (pre-post) # of 0 Differences # of Ties Z-Value P-Value Tied ZValue Tied PValue Count Sum of Ranks Mean Rank Count Sum of Ranks Mean Rank 15 3 -1.1549 -1.421 6 108 18 Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Logistic Leadership Performance (pre-post) 15 2 -1.526 0. ideological.466 0.25 # Ranks <0 # of Ranks >0 Table 5: Paired Sign Test (Strength of operational.1742 -1.91 0.5 11.3269 Paired Sign Test for Overall Leadership Performance (prepost) 10 22 9 0.2 Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Ideological Leadership Performance (pre-post) 16 3 -1.5 14. ideological.5 16.161 16 229 14.469 10 119.0146 Paired Sign Test for Logistic Leadership Performance (pre-post) 10 16 15 0.477 0.1397 16 231.0501 141 .0562 22 365.422 0.3269 Paired Sign Test for Ideological Leadership Performance (pre-post) 19 6 16 0.898 0.382 0.Table 4: Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test (Strength of operational.0577 -1.1425 -1.313 10 122 12.

Figures 4-6: Paired Sign Test Results 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Operational Ideologigcal Logistic Total Score Difference (Post-Pre) Improved or no change Declined 25 20 Score Difference (Post-Pre) 15 Improved Declined 10 5 0 Operational Ideologigcal Logistic Total 142 .

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