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
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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
only in recent years. shared visions become essential. has Osama Bin Laden increasingly relied upon these franchises to prosecute his panIslamic struggle. The conclusion of this paper finds that while opportunistic. However. rather than ideological concerns are the primary motivating factors for joining Al Qa’ida. 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. 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.
. Based on this analysis. after these affiliations occur. The local jihadist leaders who become Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers ensure ideological alignment with Al Qa’ida. this paper offers some broad recommendations regarding the future conduct of the Global War on Terror (GWOT).Abstract:
Al Qa’ida has allied with indigenous terrorist groups for over a decade.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge my parents. I distinctly remember the sense of dissociation and unreality as we struggled to understand how our beloved Twin Towers were destroyed.
. Moreover. Port Washington. 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 have benefited particularly from communications with Professor Martha Crenshaw. I want to recognize my community. Professor Crenshaw helped answer my questions promptly. she has offered me practical and affectionate support. I was so fortunate to have had Dara around as an academic example and important mentor. I dedicate my thesis to the population of Port Washington. Professors Stockton and May helped me clarify and expand my views about this project on numerous occasions. this project would have been poorer without her invaluable comments. Acts of kindness and heroism became increasingly visible in my community as people mobilized to help one another. I would have been hardpressed to get this project done in anything like a timely fashion had it not been for this program. I am also grateful to Dara Kay Cohen. Admiration should be earned. how friends and neighbors had disappeared and presumably perished during this devastating attack on America’s soil. Professor Crenshaw lives as a role model for the next generation of female investigators researching international security. I would also like to thank my brother. at length. Through the CISAC seminars. I would like to thank Colonel Joseph Felter and Jarrett Brachman who introduced me to several primary and secondary documents. who is currently a junior in high school. Thank you so much for your patience. Thus. I have been so fortunate to benefit from their generosity and acumen. both personal and intellectual is more important than can adequately be acknowledge in such a brief note. I have had the opportunity to try out some of my ideas and receive valuable criticism from my peers. and with enthusiasm.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. Without a doubt. Their constant support. There were cars parked at our train station that were never recovered and fathers and mothers who never returned from work. objectivity. New York which was tragically impacted by the September 11. not given. She also put at my disposal her insights on numerous topics. a traditionally male-dominated discipline. These sources proved to be a treasure-chest indeed. Finally. Yet despite a pervasive sense of insecurity. the members of my community began to dig themselves literally and metaphorically from the ruins of the 9/11 disaster. who listened to my presentations with great attention and offered so many thoughtful suggestions and useful comments. but most importantly for serving as an incredible mentor. Moreover. 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. In addition. Despite his youth. and coaching. and more recently into the making of this thesis. he continues to inspire me every day with his thoughtfulness and intelligence. This solidarity and resiliency consolidated my faith in humanity and sparked my interest in homeland security studies. Since my sophomore year at Stanford. and Professor Crenshaw most certainly earned mine through her impressive career. for whom I would also like to show gratitude. I hope that a general acknowledgement here of the wisdom and understanding may be counted to me for righteousness.
Al Qa’ida’s structure and degree of centralization may fluctuate within a period of months or weeks. communicate often. 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. A few dominant camps have emerged within this scholarly debate. and to dispatch operatives worldwide.Stern 2003). One can
. all oversimplify the command configuration utilized by Al Qa’ida. Al Qa’ida has transformed into a more ambiguous entity that scholars cannot easily define. An organization characterized by “loose coupling” has cells that are relatively autonomous and independent. Al Qa’ida was a relatively centralized organization that used Afghanistan as a base from which to strategize. While each perspective has its merits. 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. Gunaratna 2004). 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. to plan attacks. Al Qa’ida utilizes a mix of both loose and tight coupling to attain a remarkable degree of adaptability. 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.Chapter 1: Building a Complex Organization
Prior to the September 11. 2001 attacks. In contrast. Ronfeldt 2005. Moreover. and depend upon each other. Dishman 2005). However. Thus. an organization characterized by “tight coupling” includes cells that associate intimately. most fail to assess the exchange relationships that distinguish Al Qa’ida. Currently. Although most scholars perceive Al Qa’ida as an organization in stasis. since the onset of the Global War on Terror (GWOT).
therefore classify Al Qa’ida as a complex organization a concept that will be elaborated in this chapter (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2003). It is important to analyze these individuals because they have assumed more authority since September 11. Although Al Qa’ida has cooperated with local jihadist groups for years. since the onset of the Global War on Terror. 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. This study will examine the incentives and role of former local jihadist group leaders who now serve as Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. Al Qa’ida has affiliated with indigenous terrorist groups for almost twenty years. the conclusions drawn from this analysis may present policymakers with new and novel ways of targeting Al Qa’ida and its partners. 2001. characterized by an efficient blend of both tight and loose coupling. Ayman Zawahiri and the core of Al Qa’ida. this study may affect the allocation of resources in Washington for counterterrorism efforts. Moreover. Al Qa’ida has begun to depend on these affiliates to obtain organizational flexibility to a considerable extent. each led by a commanding officer). I. recently. One method whereby Al Qa’ida achieves such adaptability is by merging or partnering with local jihadist groups. By defining the new structure of Al Qa’ida (characterized by loosely integrated and operationally attached subunits. Evolution of Al Qa’ida’s Organizational Structure:
. these external relationships enabled Al Qa’ida to transform into a complex organization. However. distinguishing the groups with which Al Qa’ida is strongly associated. and identifying and assessing the role of the commanders who interact with Osama Bin Laden.
which had rebuffed his offer to defend the kingdom. it was not until the summer of 1988. However. and authorized asset sharing for terrorist operations. in 1991. The military committee was responsible for recruiting. The shura majilis (consultative assembly) received information from four subordinate committees designed to direct specific segments of planning and operations. established an office in Peshawar. Osama bin Laden. He relocated to the Sudan at the invitation of the government of Hassan Turabi and the National Islamic Front. after the liberation of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein by the American-led multinational army.e. Pakistan to serve as a hostel for Arabs coming to fight the Soviets and as a press agency to produce propaganda to promote jihad. This council promoted common goals. training. Bin Laden expanded the Al Qa’ida organization. At the conclusion of the Soviet-Afghan war. that Bin Laden began calling his cadre al Qaeda al Askariya (“the military base”) and developing a greater organizational structure (Riedel 2008). Bin Laden was disenchanted with his native Saudi Arabia. procuring. The religious committee justified Al
. In the Sudan. However. an Islamic scholar and founding member of the Kashmiri jihadist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. a multimillionaire from a wealthy Saudi family. most of whom he knew since his formative days in Afghanistan. The finance committee oversaw and developed financial resources. and Abdullah Azzam.In the 1980s. a large number of jihadists from the Middle East traveled to Afghanistan to combat the Soviet Union. developing a membership roster and establishing a hierarchical arrangement to guide and oversee its functions (Riedel 2008). coordinated targets. The organization was centered upon the “shura” (i. and launching support and military operations. 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. Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia as a hero of jihad. advisory council) consisting of Bin Laden’s closest associates.
other western governments. 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. Thus. 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). Al Qa’ida’s former propaganda chief. 2001 attacks against the United States (Bergen 2002). and the Capitol Building. 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. Al Qa’ida could be classified as a centralized organization. Bin Laden personally recruited the plot’s
. the last emir of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Egypt. Moreover. Bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. 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. The September 11. Saudi Arabia. in its earlier incarnation. 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). and Libya. Bin Laden left the Sudan to return to Afghanistan as a result of combined pressure from the United States. Afghanistan’s lack of central government provided Bin Laden with greater leeway to pursue his agenda and centralize his operations. Bin Laden cemented his ties to Ayman Zawahiri. In May 1997. In May 1996. Finally. Once a specific operation was decided upon. although Al Qa’ida also assisted two other Salafi terrorist groups during this formative period in the Sudan. the Pentagon. hatched the plan to target the Twin Towers.Qa’ida’s actions and operations within the theological parameters of Al Qa’ida model of Islam. all three of which faced indigenous terrorist groups supported by Bin Laden. 2001 attacks reveal the former nature of Al Qa’ida’s decision-making apparatus.
Al Qa’ida was a centralized organization. composed of less than ten operatives. When operations are so decentralized. he engaged the Taliban and its leader. Al Qa’ida soon learned that there are limitations to a strictly decentralized structure.tactical leader. networked terrorist organizations would be less vulnerable to traditional counterterrorism measures used by hierarchically organized security forces. 2006). 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. they established their own individual plans (Felter et al. individual cells. The shura concluded that a decentralized. Mohammed Atta as well as the fifteen operatives who would intimidate the passengers during the airline hijackings. In November 2002. 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. Although Bin Laden and Al Qa’ida considered 9/11 an astonishing success. 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. Mullah Omar in the preparation (Riedel 2008). Additionally. Nevertheless. Prior to 9/11. After the first year of the GWOT and the ouster of the Taliban from Afghanistan. he personally handled other elements of the conspiracy. many Al Qa’ida leaders were imprisoned. From this point forward. for instance. were instructed to develop their own organizational structures. These arrests led to subsequent arrests of other senior officers. the attacks precipitated the Global War on Terror (GWOT). While they operated in support of centralized directives. it becomes particularly difficult to maintain
. detached from Al Qa’ida Central Command and other cells.
Invading Iraq diverted troops from the mission of finding Al Qa’ida’s leadership. the U. Al Qa’ida could not effectively monitor its agents’ activities. Al Qa’ida can rely upon closer relations with its commanding officers (the former leaders of indigenous terrorist groups).situational awareness and control the use of violence to achieve specific political ends. Often. after five Kashmiri terrorists attacked Lok Sabha. complex organization. Within a decentralized framework. India began to mobilize along the border. these low-level operatives sought more violence than was useful due to the cognitive dynamics of an underground organization. Moreover. Al Qa’ida leadership found itself cornered along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and unable to coordinate its low-level operatives. who espoused different personal preferences. prior to the invasion of Iraq.S. who are the most important link in the formation of a resilient. However. the US allowed Al Qa’ida to reconstitute itself in the tribal areas of Pakistan. 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). competition for prominence within the movement. Thus. Perkins. and their own talent at conducting aggressive attacks (Shapiro 2007). Al Qa’ida faced challenges when Central Command was forced to delegate certain duties to low level operatives. As the result of restoration of central control. Bramlett. Like most other organizations. the lower house of India’s parliament in New Delhi. rather than consolidating its victory in Afghanistan. These commanding officers ensure that preference divergence does not result in the loss of
. thereby provoking Pakistan to divert to the east troops that were needed in the west. Brachman. nor could it punish renegade agents (Felter. 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. In 2002 and 2003.
Although a decentralized organization form was more appropriate and prudent after 9/11. intricate nature of resource gathering and allocation. complex organizations can exploit a diversity of systems (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2001). highly visible organizational personnel. Al Qa’ida was effectively a decentralized network). 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 relationships between cells and between operatives and Al Qa’ida Central Command are loosely coupled. Complex organizations are composed of a diversity of agents. it was not very efficient. and large size dictated its organizational decisions. Unlike strictly centralized organizations. Al Qa’ida continues to morph into a complexly structure organization (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006). Al Qa’ida now relies heavily upon semiautonomous cells found in operational territories that are horizontally and vertically integrated into the centralized command structure. the relationship between Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers and central authorities are moderately coupled (thus. the relationship between its commanding officers and central authorities were also loosely coupled (thus. While it is difficult to
. Before Al Qa’ida Central Command reorganized itself in the tribal areas of Pakistan. A Description of Complex Organizations: As this history indicates. By contrast. Empowered by the establishment of its safe haven in Pakistan and increased reliance upon its commanding officers. Al Qa’ida is a true “complex organization”).operational success or security. qualified by loosely coupled systems. II. qualified by tightly coupled systems or exclusively decentralized organizations. who interact with and mutually affect one another. today. Al Qa’ida’s demand for operational secrecy. While the relationships within the cells are tightly coupled.
. However. The Role of “Mergers and Acquisitions:” By affiliating with local jihadist movements. or collaborates with a local jihadist groups. 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. Brachman. Moreover. 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. Bin Laden did not seek to exert strategic or operational control over the leaders of its regionally based affiliates. 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. Previously. Since they are already closely coupled to their agents. 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. III. Al Qa’ida theorist Abu Musab al-Suri noted the importance of a highly trained cadre of senior commanding officers. Communication frequency. partners. Al Qa’ida has achieved an optimal combination of coupling. now when Al Qa’ida merges. Perkins. and Fishman 2006). Bramlett. they can build differentiated relationships with their rapports rather than espousing an “average” leadership style. 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.determine if Al Qa’ida assumed this structure by conscious design or coincidence. these commanding officers are effective because they can develop mature relationships with their operatives.
Moreover. and member affect are all key in this dyadic relationship (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995). There is a positive correlation between the level of ideological indoctrination of cell members and the degree of control a leader exerts. decision influence. relying on lower-level operatives (who are often less committed. The moderate coupling between Al Qa’ida Central Command and local leaders is essential to the performance of the organization. since the most devoted operatives are obliged to engage in riskier or inherently fatal assignments) is a more hazardous strategy (Felter. Al Qa’ida can ensure that strategic and tactical differences between it and its commanding officers are reconciled. which can be tracked by counterterrorist forces. 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. 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. Thus. 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. and Fishman 2006). Moreover. Perkins. Jarrett Brachman. Because affiliations are often preceded by several months of bargaining and negotiations. Local leaders can also effectively monitor operative’s personal and social network.patterns. Commanding officers now serve an important role as interlocutors with Al Qa’ida Central Command. leader-member value agreement. these new. Al Qa’ida Central Command can rely upon its commanding officers to handle finance and logistic tasks and to engage in auditing strategies. ensuring that relationships that could dilute commitment are avoided and those that enhance commitment are strengthened(Brachman and McCants 2006). Bramlett.
. their performance. subordinate loyalty. and their overall unit performance improves (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995).
obligations to Al Qa’ida Central Command. and Internet articles. accountability for operation effectiveness. government documents. efficiency. duty of care to their agents. and powers including discipline and punishment of their agents) no researcher has analyzed their role or background. and competence of local cells. this study compiles the biographies of over forty Al Qa’ida commanding officers. transmitting new. information between operatives and Al Qa’ida authorities (McAllister 2004). press and scholarly articles. thereby ensuring the unity.By allowing its commanding officers to retain significant freedom to interact with other local leaders and with resource providers. Moreover. thereby allowing Al Qa’ida to maintain ideological and operational control over the organization and by closely interacting with local operatives. IV. the use of force. Drawing upon documents and transcripts of legal proceedings involving global Salafi mujahedin and their organizations. they act as a hub of communication. Moreover. finances. local leaders-cum-commanding officers perform a crucial function by liaising with Al Qa’ida Central Command. Thus. 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. up-to-date. 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. Although these commanding officers have significant responsibilities (for example. scrutinizing their stories for patterns to determine their motivation. they are given latitude to exploit their specific environment. Currently. and equipment. Initial Thoughts on Policy Implications:
. at present. 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).
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
obliging both entities to adapt. In a similar vein. Al Qa’ida remains associated with these groups as long as they cannot operate independently. Al Qa’ida can forge broad. thus. the plot to destroy ten commercial airliners en route from the United Kingdom to the United States.regimes demonstrate its expanded influence throughout the Middle East. For instance. However. Riedel suggests that Al Qa’ida may seek a foothold in Gaza. Africa. Al Qa’ida finds another organization that can attain its other goals and leaves this former associate to continue the war on its own. when they prove that they no longer need Al Qa’ida’s material or normative support to conduct independent maneuvers. Moreover. Finally. and revivalist organizations (like Tablighi Jamaat) (Stern 2003). Stern observes that terrorist groups’ objectives have evolved to ensure their survival.
. 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. and sometimes unlikely alliances with other jihadist groups (like Jemaah Islamiyah). 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. or Lebanon in the near future (Riedel 2007). She maintains that many organizations will form alliances with groups that have ideologies different from their own. Mishal and Rosenthal describe Al Qa’ida as a “dune organization” that employs other loosely affiliated organizations to carry out its missions. which is not identical to Al Qa’ida’s tactics.” Due to the adaptability of its mission. with traditional organized crime groups (like Artab Ansari’s [an Indian gangster] network). with Shia organizations (like Hezbollah). foiled in 2006. indicates that Al Qa’ida has established connections in Europe. The affiliated groups may employ a modus operandi. Al Qa’ida need not maintain constant supervision or control over the activities of its old affiliate’s operatives (Mishal and Rosenthal 2005).
Finally. II. they do not reveal why local jihadist groups choose to align with Al Qa’ida. including “licensing agreements.Fishman is less worried about Al Qa’ida franchises than other scholars. or personnel for a specific purpose and duration and “minority equity investments.” whereby Al Qa’ida allows other groups to use its facilities. They analyze several possible arrangements. He avers that Al Qa’ida offers these franchises few benefits.
. Ideological motivations While these studies analyze Al Qa’ida’s strategy and explain why Al Qa’ida has pursued such arrangements. Literature on Incentives for Joining Radical Movements A. offering only its name. strategic mistakes and are more susceptible to counterterrorism offensives than their mother organization. Many groups that merge or partner with Al Qa’ida adhere to a program based on the ethnic. 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). He contends that Al Qa’ida’s franchises are likely to commit rash. 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. and ideology. Desouza and Hengsen provide the most comprehensive analysis of Al Qa’ida’s collaborative activities. whereby Al Qa’ida combines with or subsumes another organization. equipment. they describe mergers and acquisitions. reputation.” whereby Al Qa’ida finances terrorist groups with the intention of influencing their strategic activity. 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).
they must forsake their indigenous agendas to support the global pan-Islamic movement. 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. Based on her interpretation. 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. Al Qa’ida can co-opt local struggles into an evolving network of worldwide jihad by asserting its dedication to an international agenda. she proposes that ideology is a strategic choice made by the organization. One could also envisage that Al Qa’ida is promoting its pan-Islamic vision because it is aware of the magnetism of this dream. Unfortunately. She maintains that political organizations often orient their ideology to support recruitment. linguistic. Like Stern. it is a tool for enlarging the potential supporters of the organization. Della Porta suggests that individuals are persuaded to enlist in underground organizations when they are enticed by its ideology. They contend that Al
.sectarian. They observe that although Al Qa’ida was initially devoted to fighting the Soviet forces it now espouses more internationalist objectives. Smith. many groups grapple with contradictions between national and supranational aims. enemies and allies are described in different terms at different times (Della Porta 1995). and Weeding validate this line of thought. Upon allying with Al Qa’ida. She observes that the attention groups pay to adjusting their ideology to circumstance is revealed when they explain and justify their strategies. Consequently. In fact. Consequently. Jones. 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.
Islamist groups fought secular Muslim governments either to replace them or to form a separate state. and Denny interviewed 35 incarcerated Middle Eastern extremists from Hamas. and Hezbollah. global events have provided the context for the new generation to gain exposure to significant ideological training and indoctrination. rather than local jihad. Psychosocial motivations Conversely. Gunaratna also supports this argument. As a consequence of the GWOT and the war in Iraq. Smith. However. Moreover. They deduced that peer influence and increased social standing were major reasons for joining a terrorist group (Post. Post. 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. they
. They noticed that these terrorists exhibited a higher rate of religious education. 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. and Denny 2003). Similarly. they concluded that income and/or educational inequalities do not account for terrorism. and Weeding 2003). As a result.Qa’ida has improved its media wing to appeal to local jihadist groups in their native language and honor regional customs. Pedahzur. Al Qa’ida successfully transformed the parochial thinking of these groups through a sophisticated propaganda campaign to orient them towards global. other studies suggest that individuals join terrorist networks for psychosocial reasons. Gunaratna 2002). Islamic Jihad. Al Qa’ida anti-Western curriculum is increasingly alluring (R. Consequently. He avows that traditionally. Sprinzak. Perliger. Sprinzak. B. membership in fundamentalist organizations and repeat terrorist acts. as well as 14 secular terrorists from Fatah al-Islam.
He sample included expatriate leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group. 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). C. Moreover. which they perceive to be the optimum strategy to accomplish a sociopolitical goal. and Al Qa’ida. On the contrary. terrorist leaders may have opportunistic motives for securing a spot under Al Qa’ida’s umbrella. members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. spirituality and concern for their communities. Jemaah Islamiyah. Sagemen found no evidence of pathological narcissism or paranoid personality disorder amongst those who he surveyed. rational. calculated decision to execute a particular type of action. educated young men from caring and religious families. Although his research was biased towards leaders who have come to the public attention. Marc Sageman’s book. Several academics believe that terrorist action derives from a conscious. Strategic/opportunistic motivations Alternatively. These participants in jihad grew up with strong positive values of religion. Understanding Terror Network is particularly revealing. and Weinberg 2003). 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. He observed that members of terrorist organizations were generally middle-class. Perliger. Each mode of operation has a per-unit price that
. Sageman compiled data from public sources on 172 individuals who he identified as members of a global Salafi mujahedeen. the GSPC.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.
includes the value of time. These local jihadist leaders may have developed relationships with Al Qa’ida officials during the Soviet-Afghan war. Based on these accounts. local jihadist leaders may confederate with Al Qa’ida due to psychosocial influences. he mentions that the Iraq war has sapped local jihadist groups of their most active militants. He further notes that local jihadist cells shed their outlaw status within radical Muslim circles when they have Al Qa’ida’s backing. In this context. Hoffman notes that approximately 90 percent of all terrorist groups collapse within a year and only half of the remainder survives another decade. local jihadist leaders. while incarcerated together. resources and anticipated outcome. the United States and its allies. access to training facilities. First. who might otherwise be contained or co-opted by local regimes and. Thus. one can imagine three different rationales why local jihadist group leaders would affiliate with Al Qa’ida. any act executed by a terrorist organization can be perceived as a rational choice (Sandler and Enders 2004). etc.
. Finally. while training together. embracing global jihad may be perceived as a way to control and recruit new group members (Bruce Hoffman 2004). Alternatively. He remarks upon long running government offensives that have nearly crushed several terrorist groups. 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. by extension. and association with the Al Qa’ida label. In joining Al Qa’ida. These affinities may compel local jihadist leaders to liaise with their old compatriots and mutually assist each other in their subsequent struggles. Finally. these local jihadist leaders may seek concrete benefits such as the provision of financial resources. local jihadist group leaders may be lured by Al Qa’ida’s ideology. Based on these observations he suggests that several local jihadist outlets need the Al Qa’ida imprimatur to raise money. may unite with Al Qa’ida to guarantee organizational survival.
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.
In fact. As such. As centralized communication nodes within their system. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are held responsible for its success or failure in their region. 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. Al Qa’ida has become a flexible. By depending upon its commanding officers (the former leaders of local jihadist groups). who serve as Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. Al Qaida’s ability to mete out devastating destruction worldwide has increased as cells have become progressively armed with modern technology. recently. moderately coupled network of individuals united by a common need and ultimately aligned behind an emergent leader. Moreover. I. Currently. 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.Chapter 3: Methodology
Al Qa’ida has clearly transformed and evolved in ways described in the introduction. remains an important security threat. we must understand the strength that resides in its leaders. Osama bin Laden. During negotiations between Al Qa’ida and
. Background: The introductory chapter explained how and why Al Qa’ida relies extensively upon the leaders of regionally focused groups. conducted by operatives capable of inflicting maximum civilian and economic damages on both local and distant targets in pursuit of their extremist goals. Its terrorist activity. In order to understand why Al Qa’ida is such a forceful and resilient organization. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the motivations and responsibilities of Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. they have become the main link between Al Qa’ida Central Command and the organization’s operative units.
The previous chapter revealed that literature on the role of leadership in terror networks has remained limited in scope. I theorized that by examining the demographic characteristics of Al
. The surveys reviewed. Just as managers from the corporate arena trying to integrate newly acquired companies and divisions. researchers have overlooked them. Finally. communicate often and address everyone involved in the deal. Thus. 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. plan ahead. motivations. which consider categories of influence factors and their effect on an individual’s decision to join an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization. Negotiations are often lengthy processes. Although these commanding officers play a vital role in expanding the agenda of Al Qa’ida and adding legitimacy to its international campaign. Past studies have ignored important hierarchical considerations. focusing primarily on principals like Osama bin Laden. 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.the potential affiliate. Unfortunately. or credentials of these officials. it will contribute to the bank of information and stimulate vital discourse on the composition and function of Al Qa’ida today. little is known about the characters. This study is the first to comprehensively examine Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. they help stimulate interdependency and interaction among their units and other branches of Al Qa’ida. involving discussions regarding financial and capital resources and tactics. commanding officers are influential arbitrators. because academic studies to date have not focused on Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. so too must the commanding officers that merge their organization with Al Qa’ida prepare accordingly (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006).
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
Information was gathered from various international security think tanks including the Center for Defense Information. I searched for evidence of terrorist group decline based on Cronin’s criteria. In fact. these materials are seen by potential sympathizers who may be brought into the folds of terrorism itself (Blanchard 2006). if there was strong evidence that the group was in a state of imminent decline immediately prior to its merger with A Qa’ida. I assumed that opportunism was the primary motivation for merging with Al Qa’ida (coded as 2). I developed timelines for each organization included in this study. would affiliate with Al Qa’ida if he desperately needed to give his organization a second wind. the Council of Foreign Relations. to assess H11. the Jamestown Foundation. and the NEFA foundation. Consequently.such assaults. 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. Consequently. More than one dynamic can be responsible for their decline (Cronin 2006).). Al Qa’ida cannot influence the governments that it targets. In considering this hypothesis. Moreover. To do so. the onset of series of attacks. etc. most modern terrorist groups do not last long. as a rational actor. the beginning of a government offensive. If there was
. spectacular attacks. The timelines featured important events in their life cycle (e. I judged that the local jihadist leader. the founding. it is important to remember that Al Qa’ida is a unique terrorist organization.g. Terrorist groups that align with Al Qa’ida can benefits from Al Qa’ida’s media and propaganda expertise. 90% of terrorist organizations have a life span of less than one year. the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi.
I determined that opportunism was the secondary motivation for merging with Al Qa’ida (coded as 1). the UK’s security intelligence agency. To assess H21 (Al Qa’ida commanding officers were inspired by Al Qa’ida’s ideology). I relied predominantly upon newspaper articles published in both the domestic and international
. Al Qa’ida’s supports a narrow interpretation of Sunnism. pan-Islamic. and statements. 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. religious education. 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.some data that suggested that the group had experienced minor setbacks. to evaluate H21. (Al Qa’ida is anti-Shia) (Al Qaida's Ideology) Thus. the largest denomination and is violently opposed to other Islamic denominations that it regards as “infidel. According to MI5. More information on statistical hypothesis testing follows in the chapter on data analysis and results. To execute this assessment. I considered the assessment of Al Qa’ida’s ideology published by MI5. (Al Qa’ida is a pan-Islamic organization) 3) Al Qa’ida promotes violence against other Muslim denominations as well as nonMuslims. To perform this appraisal. which they had published regarding their ideology.”(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. Al Qa’ida strongly opposes Western influences and ideologies that it perceives as “un-Islamic. I considered the leader’s prior involvement in Islamic societies.” most notably Shiite sects. or anti-Shia agendas.
communiqués. eager to put the Afghan jihad in the past. Finally. 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. statements. or anti-Shia goals than regional initiatives. I concluded that ideological alignment was a secondary motivation (coded as 1). Thus countless numbers of mujahedeen veterans who had formed tight bonds with their fellow fighters returned to locations in the Middle East. Soon thereafter. yet also expressed anti-Western. speeches and other primary source materials authored by the leaders themselves. However in January 1993. North Africa. fearing the collapse of communism in Central Asia. pan-Islamic. While some arrived to provide money and weapons to support the fight. If I found that the leader placed more emphasis on anti-Western.press and. However. Abdullah Azzam and the Saudi billionaire. Osama bin Laden. if the leader seemed more committed to local programs. the Soviet Union launched a military invasion to restore Soviet control over neighboring Afghanistan. and elsewhere
. which was organized into several native mujahedeen organizations with headquarters in Peshawar. In December 1979. where available. others enlisted in the growing corps of “holy warriors” under the lead of the legendary Palestinian Sheikh Dr. or antiShia sympathies. Countless numbers of Afghanis joined the Islamic resistance. 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. I resolved that ideological alignment was the primary motivation for joining Al Qa’ida (coded as 2). to assess H31 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to prior social network affiliations). Pakistan. operatives from foreign countries began trickling into Pakistan. pan-Islamic.
President Sadat of Egypt died after being shot by gunmen who opened fire as he watched an aerial display at a military parade. despite the prosecution demand of 299 death sentences the judges gave out none. When presented with the opportunity to reunite with their “brethren. farming. he was treated as a special guest. Two trials took place. After being released. several former prisoners left Egypt (Wright 2007). Following President Sadat's assassination. Osama bin Laden journeyed to the Sudan. who appeased his hosts by mobilizing construction equipment and bankrolling construction projects. Ultimately. In the Sudan. these jihadists developed strategies for establishing an Islamist state and established important personal connections. he convinced several Saudi businessmen to invest in Sudan and several of his brothers and Jeddah merchants did invest in Sudanese real estate. in subsequent years. Moreover. In prison. Many focused on mobilizing the population to overthrow the government. who became a spokesman for the defendants because of his eloquence and knowledge of foreign languages. they may have decided to reunite with Zawahiri and the other jihadists with whom they were imprisoned.” these former combatants may have opted to rejoin Al Qa’ida. The first was held in camera and consisted of 24 suspects directly involved in the assassination. However. more than 700 people were rounded up. and agriculture (Gunaratna
. Most jihadists rallied around Ayman alZawahiri. Only 58 sentences were given and most of the defendants were released after three years in prison. The second trial consisted of 302 defendants charged with conspiracy and being members of the illegal Tanzim al-Jihad. After the Soviet-Afghan War.(Wright 2007). In 1981. where the new regime had raised an Islamic banner. The events that unfolded subsequent to the assassination of Anwar Sadat may have played a similar role in forging social bonds amongst jihadists.
Bin Laden set up numerous training camps in the region. or spent time in the Sudan before 1996 or Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban.e. I assumed that social network affiliation was a permissive factor (i. L. a precondition which set the stage for the merger). participated in the Sadat trial. he could rekindle these ties. disillusioned with existing ethnic Tajik and Uzbek leaders. In the years after departing from the Sudan. he established residency in Afghanistan. Bergen 2001).
. However. the Taliban had captured Afghanistan’s capital. Before its ouster by U. The Taliban rule was characterized by a strict form of Islamic law. became an Al Qa’ida associate. while social affiliations may animate a small minority to engage in Al Qa’ida’s program of global jihad. Thus.2002). During this time he established links to Sudanese Islamists as well as fundamentalists in Somalia and Yemen. they do not explain why these particular leaders aligned with Al Qa’ida. By September 1996.-led forces in 2001. Subsequently. although subject to the same or similar influences. His second presence in Afghanistan attracted many mujahedeen to return there (P. As ethnic Pashtuns. After Bin Laden fled the Sudan in 1996 as a result of international pressure. and jailing men whose beards were deemed too short. Kabul. I determined whether the group member was involved in the Soviet-Afghan war. local jihadist leaders may have established social connections with Bin Laden in Afghanistan before the 9/11 attacks and the Global War on Terror.S. When considering the relevance of social network affiliations. 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. a large part of the Taliban’s support came from Afghanistan's Pashtun community. the Taliban controlled some 90 percent of Afghanistan's territory. and embarked upon his jihad against America. requiring women to wear head-to-toe veils. Finally. This treatment was based upon my observation that not every participant in these episodes. banning television.
Consequently. 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. I developed another three hypothesis: H12. III. or foreign language competencies. and running training camps. Logistical leaders are accountable for the administrative and financial activities of their units. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly ideological role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida. developing military tactics. financial. or ideological. logistical. I considered social network affiliation to be a secondary motivation rather than a primary motivation. They direct the group’s bureaucratic development and organize recruitment drives. They have vocational. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly logistical role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida H32. 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. They
. or legal expertise. They have military experience or formation and/or expertise in weapons or explosives. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly operational role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida H22.Unless the local jihadist leader was clearly not incentivized by opportunism or ideological concerns. Operational commanders are primarily responsible for conducting operations (including “spectacular attacks”). Finally.
If the leader demonstrated at least two of the factors in the operational leadership category. Instead. published books or articles. and ideological leadership abilities before and after the merger.have granted interviews. I coded him as a strong operational leader (3). and released audio or videotapes. this estimation would have been biases. I assessed the commanding officer’s operational. logistic. Thus. To determine the role played by the commanding officer. 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. If he demonstrated one of the factors in this category.and post-merger. I coded him as an average operational leader
. I did not compare leadership performance across categories because different measures were used to evaluate leadership faculty for each category. I compared leadership performance pre.
I coded him as such (0). Developing the Universe of Cases To develop my universe of cases. 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. a business and technology consultancy. and The Washington Post. I conducted further analyses to determine its accuracy by confirming with at least two separate. non-partisan sources. IV. The International Herald Tribune. including reports available through the Jamestown Foundation. the Council on Foreign Relations. to collect information on terrorist groups and key leaders of terrorist groups. since START has not evaluated this data and cannot assure the reliability of the information provided. which is now available to the public through an agreement between MIPT. DHS. If the leader was not involved with the organization at the time. If he exhibited none of these factors. developed by the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT). From 2004 to 2008 the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security funded the creation and maintenance of the Terrorism Knowledge Base. 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). the Library of Congress. To perform this evaluation.(2). I coded him as a weak operational leader (1).
. I used the same secondary and primary source materials listed earlier in this chapter. 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 also used these sources to determine the date that the affiliation commenced. the Federation of American Scientists. Although the TOPs database listed thirty-six Al Qa’ida allies. I eliminated several from my study based on the following criteria using open source materials. The New York Times. However. MIPT collaborated with Detica.
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. Those groups that I coded as weak affiliates received financing or training from Al Qa’ida. the group must have formally announced that this arrangement existed through a communiqué broadcast to a wide audience. I coded each affiliation as a merger. I separately examined al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya
. After performing this assessment. whereby they supported Al Qa’ida. Al Qa’ida aided the local organization. an official denial of connections with Al Qa’ida should induce caution (and invoke more thorough analysis of the relationship) Based on my evaluation. but did not actively conduct operations outside their region nor did they contribute to Al Qa’ida’s other initiatives in any meaningful way. In return. assets. thereby potentially compromising their local agenda. contact with its network of financiers. informants. To qualify as a merger. To qualify as a strong affiliation. perhaps by providing access to operatives. for example by contributing to its recruitment efforts or operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. or opportunities for training. the organization must have developed a symbiotic relationship with Al Qa’ida. 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. intelligence. 3) While not grounds for immediate disqualification. Finally. and media specialists. or logisticians. or a weak affiliation (collaboration). a strong affiliation (partnership). I determined that twenty-one groups conformed to these the above standards. Leaders who head front organizations for Al Qa’ida do not make a pre-meditated choice to cooperate with Al Qa’ida.
but who never had a vested interest in a particular local jihadist group. In a few instances. Selection of my study subjects/study
. 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. others experienced numerous leadership transitions (ex. I did not consider Al Qa’ida’s regional staff officers. the Taliban. Next. I used open source materials including reports by non-partisan research institutions and newspaper articles. In performing this assessment. in which case I treated both as leaders. Asbat al-Ansar). I considered all of the commanding officers of each group from the onset of their relationship with Al Qa’ida to the present. a group that did not affiliate with Al Qa’ida as a control group.(GAI). and activities. Thus. who coordinate and supervise the execution of plans. Jemaah Islamiya. I identified the leaders (past and present) of each of these 21 groups. namely the establishment of an Islamic state. While some groups did not experience any leadership transitions after they partnered with Al Qa’ida (ex. it is equally important to comprehend what deters other groups from associating with Al Qa’ida. Based on this data. operations. I generated a list of 41 Al Qa’ida field commanders as study subjects. 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. I included a detailed investigation of the GAI in Chapter 7. V. Some organizations had more than one nominal chief at times. In order to understand what motivates certain groups to align with Al Qa’ida. Al Qa’ida in Iraq). both past and present. Selection of Study Subjects My prior discussion focused on terrorist organizations that are overtly in pursuit of Salafi objectives.
economic. Moreover. 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. I did include many groups that were deeply invested in domestic uprising and urban warfare against their own governments. VI. Although I eliminated all non-Muslim terrorists from the study sample. I used sources from the public domain. Problems Regarding Information Gathering To conduct this assessment.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. who are fighting a jihad that involves complex social. Often. Salafia Jihadia. and political grievances and who may be less committed to the principles of Salafism and thus. I did not include the amorphous social movement. less magnetized by Al Qa’ida pan-Islamic agenda. Moreover. which exists in Morocco. This grouping is just an assemblage of small illegal clusters centered around charismatic preachers. Because clandestine organizations are often very secretive about their members and operations. bias was introduced by the actual leader interviews and communications that can be considered well-orchestrated propaganda
. there may have been ascertainment bias introduced by the difficulties accurately assessing leaders’ competence in organizing and conducting important attacks. In contrast. I chose to limit my sample to in order to reveal certain patterns that might not have otherwise emerged with less stringent exclusion criteria. I did not include Palestinian groups. I included Muslims fighting for the liberation of Kashmir and those fighting an internal insurgency in Central Asia. terrorist organizations will not take credit for successful operations for fear of provoking the government to conduct a counterterrorism response.
what motivates them. With the aforementioned limitations in mind. I completed one comprehensive case study (in addition to my detailed discussion of the GAI). 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. As a result. I used the materials available to me to try to best collect information about and understand the leaders and organizations that I profiled. 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. When assessing the data. and Internet articles. VII. leader of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. as mentioned earlier. My observations regarding
. Case Study Finally. I considered the source of information and its degree of reliability. empirical data about Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers was collected and analyzed. VIII. formerly the Groupe Salafist pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC). press and scholarly articles. Next. Relevance By seeking to understand who Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are. These concerns withstanding. I investigated Abdelmalek Droukdal. These sources included: government documents. a comparison of leadership performance across categories was impossible. I assessed the role he played before and after aligning with Al Qa’ida. and how they aligned their own local jihadist group with Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program.exercises that may not appropriately reflect the leader’s true motivations and ideology. who merged his organization with Al Qa’ida despite the objections of the GSPC’s former leader Hassan AlBanna (Guidère 2007).
we can better allocate resources to address this threat.
. we can better understand Al Qa’ida’s overall strategy (e. they will help develop a model to identify local jihadist leaders who may merge or partner with Al Qa’ida in the future. my analyses may suggest that our battles in the Middle East and our policies regarding imprisonment are creating gathering places for global Salafi jihadists. by understanding the role that Al Qa’ida commanding officers play.g. Based on our knowledge of Al Qa’ida’s strategy. First. This realization. Secondly.motivations will serve two purposes. Finally. if proven. has strong implications for US foreign policy in the post 9/11 era and greater attention should be paid to identifying such settings. 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. are they focused on promoting their message through propaganda or are they intent on conducting more attacks?).
therefore. they argue. Despite the popularity of this argument.Chapter 4: Universe of Cases
I. this relationship has perpetuated to the present day. 2001. To address this concern. Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: An Evolving Network Although the purpose of my study was to investigate Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. I determined the year that the group first received or conveyed assistance to Al Qa’ida. who consolidated relations with Al Qa’ida. 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. First. Al Qa’ida has transformed into an international enterprise with like-minded local representatives loosely connected to a central ideological base (Riedel 2007). They contend that after September 11. Jordan. the relationship between Al Qa’ida and its affiliate has strengthened or weakened (such is the case with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. and failed to overthrow the governments in Egypt. I have classified the affiliation according to its current state. surprising. lost several of its top officials. The investigation of Al Qa’ida’s patterns of affiliation with respect to time is very interesting and indeed. as well as name recognition
. Most of researchers who I discussed in my literature review perceive Al Qa’ida’s strategy of franchising as a new development. since a group does not merely affiliate with Al Qa’ida and then sever all relations. It is important to keep in mind. To assess the date of the affiliation. I also observed noticeable patterns while developing my universe of cases. who diluted relations with Al Qa’ida). and Abu Sayyaf. In many instances. in every case. I considered the development of Al Qa’ida’s affiliation over a period of time from 1991 until 2005 (Table 1). Al Qa’ida was deprived of a “state within a state” in Afghanistan. Although I have recorded the first year in which the group cooperated with Al Qa’ida. and Saudi Arabia. that a cumulative effect occurs. Since 2001.
After Hussein’s forces invaded the small.
Chechnya. On August 7.to terrorist groups operating in such diverse places as the Philippines. These operatives also offered advice to their Somali counterparts on how to set up social services for the local population. 1990. Somalia. thereby threatening the security of Saudi Arabia. However. he departed for the Sudan.
. Bin Laden perceived this intrusion as part of a larger Western design to dominate the whole Arab and Muslim world. In this year. Bin Laden had the opportunity to interact with other terrorist units to expand Al Qa’ida’s reach. Eritrea. Turabi and Bin Laden engaged in a convenient symbiotic relationship. Bin Laden organized training camps at which hundred of his followers were tutored in paramilitary tactics as revealed in the previous chapter. this was as perturbing and foreboding an event as the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that had occurred a decade earlier. during his time in the Sudan. Bin Laden could operate freely in the Sudan and in return he would invest millions of dollars in the desperately poor country. For Bin Laden. This relationship strengthened throughout the nineties. 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. when one considers the historical context. the first US troops were dispatched to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield. for years. While Bin Laden was situated in the Sudan. oil rich state of Kuwait on August 1. Tajikistan. where he was warmly welcomed by Hassan al-Turabi. Afghanistan. Al Qa’ida linked up with Al-Ittihaad al-Islami (AIAI) and Abu Sayyaf. 1990. Bin Laden had immediately volunteered his services and those of his holy volunteers but the Saudis did not take this offer seriously (Gunaratna 2002). this observation is not nearly as stunning.
Al Qa’ida first seriously affiliated with other terrorist organizations in 1991. Yemen. Algeria. Consequently. the leader of the National Islamic Front. Kashmir and Iraq. As a result of the Sudanese government’s hospitality and support. effectively put him under house arrest. tired of Bin Laden’s critiques. After the Saudi government.
many of whom would be employed by these Arabic executives. Muhammad Jamal Khalifah to support the Abu Sayyaf Group. Thus. Moreover. While occupied with these financial negotiations. From 1991 to 1996. between a thousand and two thousand
. Al Qa’ida was preoccupied with other pursuits and could not devote energy towards developing such high-maintenance relations. which would elicit support from the Sudanese population. Moreover a number of ASG members had fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s (Rogers 2004). the US military. Soon thereafter. 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. where their transactions would go unnoticed and in its infrastructure projects. to invest in the country’s moribund financial institutions. Bin Laden focused his efforts on other missions like determining how best to attack US forces in Somalia. Instead. which sought to pursue a more fundamentalist battle against the Philippine authorities than the Moro National Liberation Front. he persuaded his brother in law. Concurrently. he broadcast a fatwa in which he avowed that having already taken over the Persian Gulf area and now encroaching upon Somalia. if successful. Bin Laden exploited a cache of trustworthy warriors who he could rely upon to cultivate his vision of global jihad. including some of his brothers. would next march into Southern Sudan and then into other Islamic countries(Gunaratna 2002). By 1991. he attempted to centralize the core of Al Qa’ida’s operations and develop its human resources as discussed in Chapter 1.Bin Laden ramped up his assistance to the Somali terrorists after the Bush administration sent US peacekeeping troops to Somalia in 2002. my data indicates that Al Qa’ida did not engage another affiliate until 1996. After associating with these groups. their parent organization. Bin Laden convinced several Saudi businessmen. while residing in the Sudan.
members of Al Qa’ida converged upon the Sudan and within three years. a multi-volume series detailing everything the Afghan Arabs had learned in the jihad against the Soviets. From Afghanistan. once again. Bin Laden knew Afghanistan well and greatly admired the Taliban religious warriors who had taken control over much of the country. As a result of this multitude of tasks. He turned his attention to exotic weaponry and weapons of mass destruction. attracting Muslim militants to a country. Having obtained sanctuary. 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. hundreds of Afghan Arabs engaged in fighting in Bosnia (P. Al Qa’ida engaged 15 of its 21 affiliates. 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). Bergen 2001). 1996. Given this stable and secure environment. Finally. Bin Laden and his cadre were engrossed by other concerns and did not focus on developing external relations with other jihadist groups. who left the Sudan to return to his familiar stamping grounds in Afghanistan. Bin Laden had set up a number of military camps in the north. on widening his movement. L. Bin Laden was able to function unimpeded. Bin Laden began to focus. it is not surprising that between 1996 and 2001. Simultaneously some members of the group undertook the massive task of writing the Encyclopedia of the Afghan Jihad. which became the modern world’s first jihadist state. During this time. To
. no affiliations were observed between 1991 and 1996. He also sought to acquire weapons for these militants. These communiqués served to attract the attention of various local jihadist leaders. By 1996. Upon Bin Laden’s arrival. Thus. intense pressure had been placed on the Sudanese government by the United States and Egypt to expel Bin Laden.
“in order to obey the Almighty. the establishment of the IIF can clearly be interpreted as an effort by Al Qa’ida to expand its battle against Western influence. and the head of Bangladesh’s Jihad Movement.supplement this strategy. he needed the backing of religious scholars and the clerical cover to call for a real global jihad. members included the head of the violent faction of Egypt’s Gama’a al Islamiyya. is an obligation for every Muslim who is able to do so in any country.
. In addition to Bin Laden and EIJ’s Ayman al-Zawahiri. the secretary general of the Pakistani religious party known as the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam. In part. These sequential steps were part of Bin Laden’s plan to expand his multi-national terrorist campaign. 2001 attacks. Thus. in the years before the September 11. one observes a surge of new Al Qa’ida affiliates. However. According to this Word Islamic Front manifesto. before 2001. While Bin Laden was well read in the Koran. The clerics who Bin Laden summoned also had acquaintances with jihadists beyond Afghanistan who they could introduce to Bin Laden (Bergen 2001). this is due to the fact that in 1998 Bin Laden created the International Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders (IIF). Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan. he was not a religious scholar.” Based on this quotation. Amidst this background. an anti-Shia sectarian party (Carafano 2005). in 1998. In addition to its formal alliances through the IIF. Later the IIF was expanded to include the Pakistani jihadist organizations Lashkar-eTaiba. he probably did not rely extensively upon the leaders of these organizations. Bin Laden’s organization nurtured ties with a variety of other armed jihadist groups. we hereby give all Muslims the following judgment: the judgment to kill and fight Americans and their allies. Laden convened conferences of several Afghan ulema. whether civilians or military.
near bureaucratic entity to a fluid movement tenuously bound by a loosely networked transnational constituency (i. after 9/11. As elaborated upon in Chapter 1. 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. Osama Bin Laden was compelled to makeover his organization. the dearth of new Al Qa’ida affiliates seems puzzling given what scholars perceive to be Al Qa’ida’s organizational strategy. temporarily crippling it. Bin Laden had to engineer a colossal transformation of his organization from a more or less unitary. after 2001 and the onset of the Global War on Terror. and collaborations (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006). Firstly. complex organizations.
. few can deny the United States and its allies achieved progress in the first phase of the Global War on Terror. As stated in the introduction. are built up through mergers. Whereas before Al Qa’ida had a distinct center of gravity. Bin Laden elected to strengthen existing affiliations rather than pursue new ones. infrastructure. After 2001. There are two explanations for this observation. and command-and-control nucleus in Afghanistan were destroyed and uprooted. To more easily engineer this metamorphosis.Contrary to popular belief. 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. Thus. Al Qa’ida’s training camps. Aggressive US and allied efforts impeded Al Qa’ida’s ability to do anything. be it to plan attacks or to align with other jihadist groups.e. partnerships. operational bases. Al Qa’ida has not enlisted many new affiliates. characterized by semiautonomous cells that are horizontally and vertically integrated into the centralized command structure. from an actual center to a virtual network) (Bruce Hoffman 2004).
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. Lebanon. and Egypt (Michael 2007). who had become Bin Laden’s second-in command. and for maintaining the momentum of an Islamist victory by expanding operations into Syria. and lack of concern for public support. For instance. For instance. Israel. for establishing a post-US Islamist emirate governed by a coalition of Islamic groups. Zawahiri reprimanded al-Zarqawi for indiscriminate attacks on Shias. including Shias. in 2004. Jordan. the leader of Tawhid. For example. 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. 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). Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Al Qa’ida has exploited the Iraqi occupation for rousing propaganda and as a recruitment tool for the global jihadist cause. he urged Zarqawi to prepare for a precipitous American military withdrawal from Iraq. was responsible for developing his own strategy and operations. Bin Laden and Al Qa’ida Central Command relied more heavily and interacted more frequently with the leaders of these groups. terror attacks
. However. prior to 2005. Moreover. who had become his commanding officers. 2005. Additionally. in a letter dated July 9. began to instruct Zarqawi regarding tactics and specific theater-of-war concerns. beheading of hostages. In fact. 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. Bruce Hoffman has suggested that for Al Qa’ida. “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.Moreover. Nowadays. Ayman Zawahiri.
it is interesting to consider the geographic distribution of Al Qa’ida’s affiliates (Figure 2). The other large clusters come from the Maghreb (Morocco. include the 2004 bombings against Madrid’s commuter trains. Samuel Huntington observed that after World War II. In the aftermath of this transition. Al Qa’ida Affiliates: The Geographic Distribution Having assessed the development of Al Qa’ida’s affiliations over time. France fought a war in Algeria and British and French forces invaded Egypt. Lebanon. Tunisia) and Southern Asia (namely. The smaller clusters come from Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa. and Yemen). Notable incidents conducted by or with the assistance of Al Qa’ida’s affiliates since the beginning of the Iraq war. over forty percent of the 21 affiliates are based in the Core Arab states (Iraq. Libya. Arab nationalism and then Islamic fundamentalism strongly manifested. the 2005 bombings against London’s public transport system. and the 2007 terrorist attacks in Algiers (Bruce Hoffman 2004). 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). Considering the sample as a whole. One can anticipate that the majority of affiliates would hail from the Core Arab states and Maghreb Arab states. II. Afghanistan. the American forces went into Lebanon. Algeria. according to statistics released by the US government’s National Counterterrorism Center. These regions have a history of conflict with the West. Pakistan). Later.
. the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot to detonated liquid explosive carried on board from the United Kingdom to the US and Canada. conflicts along the fault line between western and Arab Islamic civilizations frequently erupted. For instance. Egypt Uzbekistan. when colonial empires began to retreat.around the world tripled in 2004.
Moreover. fled to Afghanistan where he set up a military training camp. These states have porous borders. For instance.These struggles had a profound effect on the development of jihadist outlets. Additionally. 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. Thus. Secular prescriptions (whether nationalist or leftist) are regarded as unsuccessful European importations introduced by intellectuals exposed to French and Italian cultures. Islam can provide a medium of cultural nationalism that is defiant and self-assuring. whereas the religious-framed prescriptions of Arabia Islam have a thirteen century-old legacy (Ayubi 1980). For those countries resisting foreign dominance. He maintains that most Islamic revolutions evolve from movements for indigenous self-assertion. and Uzbekistan. Tajikistan. Al Qa’ida has appealed to militants in the four neighboring former Soviet Central Asian republics. Furthermore. Kyrgystan. and leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. at the present time operatives from these organizations can assist the Al Qa’ida-
. Karimov. There is also a simpler explanation to account for the plethora of Al Qa’ida affiliates hailing from the Core Arab states. Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Al Qa’ida and the Taliban could facilitate the transportation of militants moving back and forth across the borders. just a few miles from the border (Luong and Weinthal 2002). Turkmenistan. the Taliban controlled the Afghan territory bordering Uzbekistan. Tahir Yuldashev. one of the masterminds behind the assassination attempt against Uzbek President Islam A. Since 1996. they could permit leaders of these jihadist groups to establish training camps without fear of government intervention. for years. all of which are in immediate proximity to Afghanistan. weak security apparatuses and crisis-torn economies.
Pakistan has allowed the US military to use bases within the country. offered to President Bush Pakistan’s unqualified cooperation in the fight against terrorism. these militants can stage local campaigns due to their recently acquired front line experience (Boudali 2007). However.
. after the September 2001 attacks. In addition. Upon returning to the Maghreb. thousands of Muslim extremists were detained.supported insurgency in Afghanistan. several Kashmiri separatist terrorist groups turned to Al Qa’ida for support. Separatist violence in India’s Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir state has continued unabated since 1989. Similarly. fighters transit through Syria. eager to regroup in Pakistani cities where police control was more negligible. terrorist operatives in the Maghreb move easily across international borders. has helped to identify and detain extremists. thus. these groups help Al Qa’ida attack coalition troops in Afghanistan and then escape across the Pakistani frontier (Fair 2004). Al Qa’ida. With the assistant of Al Qa’ida’s Algerian affiliates. quickly granted this concession in return for safe haven. affiliates from these nations are particularly desirable. I also observed that a large percentage of the groups that merged with Al Qa’ida hailed from Pakistan (20%). Conservative estimates suggest that at least several hundred North African volunteers have traveled to Iraq. and has helped to tighten the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Musharraf. This too. where Islamabad exercises limited authority. Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri are now believed to be in Pakistan’s rugged tribal areas. In the wake of these changes. should be expected. under strong US diplomatic pressure. The conflict between Muslims and Hindus in the subcontinent manifests itself in the rivalry between Pakistan and India. Consequently.
Indonesia. in general Muslims are a minority in East Africa. In fact. there were fewer groups from the Eastern African region and from the Southeast Asian region. Thailand. the rise of political Islam can be linked principally to the collapse of Suharto's regime. Malaysia and Brunei. and two other mostly Muslim states. Additionally. In Indonesia. Also. Political organizations representing modernist Muslims were
. The largest and most influential are either political parties or revivalist organizations. this can be easily explained. Again. 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. and the fragility of local democracy. where the other major Abrahamic faiths dominate. such as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Unlike Eastern European countries. many Islamic organizations in Southeast Asia genuinely oppose Al Qa’ida and most are nonviolent. hostility from indigenous religious authorities may also impede the growth of Wahabism (Dickson 2005). There are almost no legitimate terrorist targets and terrorists themselves can be subject to extortion in largely lawless settings. 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. while Buddhism and Roman Catholicism are dominant respectively. most visibly Al Qa’ida. it has not emerged as such. while Somalia has served as a transit route for terrorists. the nation's continuing economic crisis. Although Muslims represent a majority in countries like Somalia and Eritrea. in East Africa. a central government with even rudimentary influence has yet to emerge. Moreover. in which there is just enough government control and economic security to provide an adequate target for terrorist groups. and the Philippines. the depth of its involvement with terrorists is constrained by the very disorder seen as a classical setting for terrorism. In Singapore. Muslims are a minority.Within my sample.
Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: Mergers? Partnerships? Or Collaborations? Finally it is important to consider distribution by type of affiliation (Figure 3). more extremist forms of Islamism still remain at the fringes (Gershman 2002). Through partnership and collaborations. it is difficult to cut off centralized funding due to the complex nature of Al Qa’ida’s financial network. Both partnerships and collaborations permit Al Qa’ida to structure itself as a complex organization. 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. causes havoc. While the relationships within the cells are tightly coupled. Supporting local terrorist groups in this manner makes noise. III.banned from the 1950s to the 1980s. Although this type of arrangement allows Al Qa’ida and the merged group to consolidate their assets so that they can compete more successfully. While Al
. described in the first chapter. Through partnerships and collaborations. the relationships between cells and between operatives in Al Qa’ida central command are loosely coupled. were much less common. and distracts the enemy while Central Command plans for more detailed attacks elsewhere. Al Qa’ida achieves the ideal mix of tightly and loosely coupled systems. Mergers were much less common (approximately 17%). Although such groups have since become a major political force in recent years. mergers. Additionally. and many of their leaders were imprisoned. When a group merges with Al Qa’ida. they forfeit a degree of control. Al Qaida can provide financial or logistic support to other terrorist groups with the intention of influencing their strategic activities. The preponderance of affiliations (over 70%) could be classified as partnerships or collaborations. the highest order form of equity-based engagement. By contrast. the group that Al Qa’ida subsumes must be capable of completely integrating Al Qa’ida’s methods and approaches into their repertoire.
most prominently.Qa’ida Central Command does not usually plan operations. Such blocking actions are a critical tool in combating the financing of terrorism (Mayer and Price 2002). Moreover. requiring them to take steps to prevent designated individuals and entities from continuing to fund or otherwise support terrorism. designation under the UN Security Council’s 1267 Committee’s consolidated list will trigger international obligations on all member countries. when groups officially merge with Al Qa’ida. they often become the targets of counterterrorist offensives by foreign governments. Executive Order 13224 provides the means to disrupt the support network that funds terrorism. they can “offer” tactical advice. 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). to designated terrorists and terrorist organizations. Oftentimes. as observed with the Zarqawi-Zawahiri letter referenced earlier. who have no interest in establishing a global Islamic caliphate. In addition. goals. mergers often end up splintering as a result of differences of ideologies. There are other practical difficulties. but are more interested in deposing their current government. the United States. groups that merge officially with Al Qa’ida may risk alienating the local population. Finally. Through this measure. which should be addressed when discussing mergers. 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. the United States government may block the assets of individuals and entities providing support. which the merged group must obey. financial or otherwise. For instance. they may split their own ranks and upset surrounding communities.
. When a group commits to jihad against the far enemy. Under this order.
since they offer increased organizational flexibility and operational reach. the data demonstrates that Al Qa’ida may be more likely to pursue lower-order affiliations. organizations must have the patience and resolve to work through issues. Al Qa’ida may have several mergers in the works that have not yet been publicly announced. IV. 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. Summary of Findings Although Al Qa’ida’s policy of pursuing affiliations with local jihadist groups is not a new development. mergers only occur when terrorist groups have developed a close relationship and realize the mutual value of working together. provided in Chapter 6 proves. several groups have announced a formal merger with Al Qa’ida. while Al Qa’ida’s affiliates are concentrated in the Core Arab and Maghreb states. While in recent years. Al Qa’ida may be seeking to expand into other Muslim-dominated territories. Thus. evidence suggests that Al Qa’ida will continue to pursue such relations and will rely upon them more heavily. As the example of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. Like corporations settling a merger.Given these considerations. Moreover.
. such as Western Africa.
e. corresponding to 0= not a motivation. the null hypothesis was rejected.” "ideological alignment. The chi-squared test yielded pvalues of 1. By comparison.
. 1= secondary motivation. This analysis yielded the results contained in Table 1. 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.0188. when three scales were used. known or suspected terrorists). and 1. ideological alignment appears to be of less powerful significance as a motivating factor for local jihadist leaders. To assess the effects of motivational factors contributing to individual terrorist's decision to affiliate with Al Qa’ida. thus.146E-09. 2 = primary motivation (for a more detailed explanation regarding coding.” and “social network affiliation” respectively. one can conclude that opportunistic motives. Based on this analysis.Chapter 5: Results of Statistical Hypothesis Testing
I.606E-06 for “opportunistic motives. and social network affiliation all motivate local jihadist leaders to an extent.05. although the smaller values of p for “opportunistic motives” and for “social network affiliation” suggest that these incentives are more robust. 0. The null hypothesis tested for each scale was that there was no difference in the frequency of incidence of each level of motational factor. Statistically significant differences among subjects were evaluated using a chi-squared test statistic for variation within each scale.” “ideological alignment.” Each subject was rated 0-2 for each scale.” and "social network affiliations. each subject was rated on one of three scales: "opportunist motives. in each case. All three statistics are significant with a p-value less than 0. please refer to Chapter 3 on Methodology). ideological alignment.
H11 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to opportunistic motives) is proven.” “ideological alignment.042 for “opportunistic motives. scores 0 and 1 were combined into a single scale "not a motivation. This analysis produced the results recorded in Table 2. social affiliations) have some influence on the decision to associate with Al Qa’ida. Based on this analysis. The p-values associated with the chi-squared test statistic were 1. H31 ( Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due psychosocial motives) requires further investigation.” The null hypothesis.To supplement this analysis and clarify the relative impact of each incentive. thereby suggesting that this particular factor is not a significant motivating variable for local jihadist leaders in this sample. the effect of ideological alignment does not even reach statistical significance.639.
II.” while score 2 was considered as "motivation. H21 (Al Qa’ida commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to ideological motives) is rejected. In contrast. The p-value for opportunistic motives permits us to reject the null hypothesis of no effect. 0. The p-value associated with social network affiliation also allows us to reject the null hypothesis.289E-06.e. It is of note that the statistical significance for social network affiliation is far less impressive than that for opportunistic motives. 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?
. tested for both scales. However. and 0. the data suggests that psychosocial motive(i. was that there was no difference in the frequency of incidence of each level of motivational factor.” and “social network affiliation” respectively. This implies that opportunism is the primary motivation among the variables considered in this study for affiliating with Al Qa’ida.
Accordingto this test. compared to premerger. compared to pre-merger. pre and post merger.Subjects were evaluated on their performance in each of three categories: “Operational. The chi-squared test statistic was used to evaluate the overall difference in performance in each of the three categories post-versus pre-merger. The Wilcoxon statistic was negative for all groups.and post-merger score for any category. 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.” “Ideological.0501). which suggests that leadership performance may generally improve as well. the paired signed test rejected the null hypothesis for ideology (p=0. thus based on this statistical test.015). These included the Wilcoxon statistic (Table 4). The null hypothesis tested in this analysis is that there is no difference in each category post-merger. Results are presented in Table 3. across all terrorists considered individually. which utilizes both the direction and magnitude of the change. we could not reject the null hypothesis for any category. Paired statistics were then applied to compare the scores for each individual terrorist. However.and postmerger.there was no statistic difference between the pre. pre.” and “Logisitic” on a scale of 0-3. Additionally. This suggests that ideological leadership performance does actually improve after a merger. which considers only the direction of change.
. as well as the simpler paired sign test (Table 5). across all terrorists considered as a group.
. Most frequently. there were the fewest number of negative changes post-merger. for all three categories. Moreover. This analysis allows us to accept H32 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officer play an increasingly ideological role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida). 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. there was a tendency to improve scores post-merger. and these swamped the overall effect. a plot of the distribution of scores. for the ideological performance. ideological performance improved. however.e. 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). However. most changes were positive. the variability among subjects in the magnitude of the changes may have affected the results. thereby hindering us from rejecting the null hypothesis using the Wilcoxon statistic. The operational category had the largest number of “-3” results and “+3” results.The results obtained through the paired sign test suggest that the direction of the change for ideological performance was significant. Moreover. this was clearly most prevalent and only statistically significant for the ideology category. after mergers with Al Qa’ida occur. demonstrates that each group had a similar number of “no change” results (i. shared ideological views become important. whether they were categorized as only positive or positive plus no change. Generally. Figures 4-5 demonstrate that for ideological performance. however. there were a few changes in the opposite direction in particular subjects that were large. a pre-post score of 0).
less powerful Algerian indigenous assembly of terrorists would not have been possible without the leadership of Abdelmalek Droukdal. However. 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. in 1965. Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb was born. Algeria achieved independence from France in 1962. Defense Minister Houari Boumedienne staged a bloodless coup to remove Ben Bella from power. 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). 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. this metamorphosis of a relatively smaller. However. He then adopted an
. 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 Islamic movement in Algeria originated in the 1960s. 2006. Three months later. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. While the first official communiqué of the GSPC appeared in September 1998. to Al Qa’ida. 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. whereupon Ahmed Ben Bella was elected the first president of Algeria. After the merger of the GSPC with Al Qa’ida.Chapter 6: Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb and Abdelmalek Droukdal – A Well Executed Merger
On September 11. the only remaining armed terrorist group in Algeria. I.
during the 1970s. the FIS was a political organization. In 1991. 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. socialist political system. 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. 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 Birth of the Salvation Islamic Front In 1989. and maintained an affirmative orientation towards Western learning and culture. Unlike the MAIA. However. This political platform resonated with the Algerians. a fundamental Islamic preacher established the Armed Islamic Algeria Movement (MAIA) in 1982 to establish an Islamic state. Before the independence. directed by Abdallah Djaballah. one-party. Mustapha Bouyali.authoritarian. Islamic religious law. which he codified in the Algerian constitution in 1976. The MAIA sought to resolve the social and economic injustices that had emerged in Algeria by forcible means if necessary (Johnson 2006). the Algerian Islamic movement was centrist.
. Thus. II. The FIS became popular amongst the Algerian population who supported the group financially and politically. not an armed group that sought to reverse the economic decline in Algeria by implementing Sharia. in response to the dictatorial and exclusionary policies proffered by the Socialist party. under Boumedienne’s chosen successor Colonel Chadli Benjedid the right to establish political parties was accorded in Algeria and with this decision. the Salvation Islamic Front (FIS) was formed.
halted the electoral process. was marked by barbaric methods and attacks against entire civilian communities. The new regime calculated that the repression of the FIS would ignite a wave of extremist fundamentalist violence. after the cancellation of the 1992 general elections in Algeria. Antar Zouabri became the head of the GIA on July 18. In an effort to racially purify the country. 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. the GIA quickly alienated itself from other Algerian Islamic activities by adopting stringent interpretations of Islamic law. He repelled most members of the GIA when he issued a fatwa condemning the entire Muslim population of
. it dissolved the FIS (Celso 2008). However. 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. He was an illiterate criminal and his reign. which would divide and alienate the FIS’s many Algerian supporters. Thus. The Beginnings of the GIA and the Onset of an Epoch of Violence As the new regime predicted. III. Many Islamists became increasingly interested in radical approaches. The GIA was responsible for the murder of over 2000 schoolteachers guilty of “taming the youth” and more than 100 other competing. and suspended parliament. After subsequent leadership transitions.the FIS achieved a victory in national elections. several Islamists became disenchanted with the political process and defected from the FIS to form armed splinter groups. A High Committee was established with Mohammed Boudiaf named as president. with the prospect of the FIS in control of the parliament. less militant Muslim clerics and political leaders whom it designated heretics. However. which lasted until his violent death in February 2002. 1996.
the decision to establish the GPSC was the direct result of the GIA’s strategic impasse. Fissions Form Within the GSPC
. An Alternative Emerges: The Origins of the GSPC The GSPC was not set up as a pan-Islamic movement. apostates. IV. the GSPC was able to amass hundred of defectors from the FIS and the GIA (Guidère 2007). and gendarmerie through the use of false roadblocks. 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. he encouraged operatives to target Algerian government officials. Bucaille. However. a former GIA commander. bombings. clearly articulated the narrow agenda of the GSPC. military. 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. 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. Hassan Hattab. The first prominent leader of the GSPC. While he preferred not to engage in force-on-force confrontations with the Algerian military to avoid depleting his cadre.Algeria as “kuffar. Consequently. police. He depicted the Algerian government as a postcolonial lackey at war with Islam. V. and incursions on towns to steal saleable goods (Guidère 2007). ambushes. and Martínez 2007). Zouabri’s attacks on innocent Muslims estranged many former GIA military commanders. He asserted that the GSPC sought to overthrow the government in Algiers and to install an Islamic regime in Algeria. However. who were left without an ideological umbrella.
katibats. Several GSPC cadres were killed or captured by Algerian security services following leads provided by rival GSPC elements (Celso 2008). Imprisonment sentences were reduced.The GSPC was originally organized as a loose confederation of regional divisions under a supreme emir who supervised the organization. Each of the regional groups. the katibats were responsible for supplying and funding their own operations. Algerians had become less tolerant to the violence of the GSPC. the organization was plagued by internal rivalry. death penalty and life imprisonment were commuted to a maximum of eight years imprisonment for individuals under probation. the Algerian government implemented a law that offered amnesty to the combatants who capitulated. Although as supreme emir. In July 1999. bombing of public places. The issue of whether or not to accept the terms of the Civil Harmony Law created considerable dissension within the GSPC. By the end of the twentieth century. These fault-lines were exacerbated by external events that occurred soon after the founding of the GSPC. 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. The law set a deadline of January 13. controlled a territory that roughly aligned with the governments’ own military districts. Nevertheless. 2000 for members and supporters of armed groups to surrender to the authorities (Black 2007). Consequently. Hattab provided religious guidance. or sexual crimes would be placed under probation for a period ranging from 3 to 5 years. This law declared that citizens not involved in massive killings. A study conducted at the Naval Postgraduate School determined that although the probability of defection by GSPC members was less than 10
. Thus. the Civil Harmony Law was adopted and overwhelmingly endorsed in a national referendum the following September 2000. and could even participate in the fight against the remaining active terrorist groups.
. which resulted in the demobilization of hundreds of militants from both the GIA and the GSPC. 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. Fifteen days after the attacks. 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. the probability of defection reached a high of 60 percent during the Civil Concord period (Gyves and Wyckloff 2006). the GSPC’s operational reach diminished. Due to this amnesty program. The GSPC denied involvement. certain members of the GSPC dissented.percent before the implementation of the law. reasserting their dedication to avoiding civilian atrocities. They suggested that courting Al Qa’ida would enable the organization to maintain its relevancy and shore up declining recruitment. It was thus effectively limited in scope by the Algerian government. 2001 attacks were another defining moment for the GSPC. and 9 were injured in a massacre that occurred in the Algerian town of Al-Abri. However. Members of this organization realized that a merger with Al Qa’ida could have both political and financial benefits to GSPC (Guidère 2007). The September 11. believing that it would be better to take credit for the attack and thereby imply GSPC’s collusion with Al Qa’ida. 23 people were killed. They were devoted to regime change and preferred not to actively support the “Muslim brothers. on September 26. This became a point of friction between Hattab and the younger members of the GSPC and two dominant camps emerged within the organization. 2001.
his efforts were in vain. Although Hattab invoked the original Charter of the GSPC. its next iteration was expanded to include Algeria. and Nigeria signed a co-operation agreement on counterterrorism. Chad. Thus. The PSI was judged to be a success by US officials and local participants. implemented in November 2003. thus. the Pan Sahel Initiative consisted of training regional military units by soldiers from the US Special Forces in Niger. Funded by the United States State Department. which stated that the objectives of armed conflict should be to fight the Algerian regime and not other governments. 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. However. Algeria. thereby joining both sides of the Sahara in a complex map of security arrangements. independently operated company that could focus on their own regional national agenda (Guidère 2007). Niger. 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). Moreover. As a result of hard-hitting endeavors by these transnational partnerships. Moreover.minority faction opposed such a merger and preferred to remain like a small. and Mauritania in an effort to improve border security and counterterrorism capacity. 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. others within the GSPC did not share this perspective. the majority of the local emirs seated on the GSPC’s shura believed that the war in Algeria was lost. Although the GSPC was able to recover from the infighting provoked after 9/11 and aggressive counter-terror measures. the many GSPC fighters sought to engage in the struggle in Iraq. in July 2003. the organization should
. the GSPC was forced to retreat from urban areas (Ellis 2004). Observing the images of Iraqi soldiers and citizens humiliated by the American invaders. Chad. Mali.
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. However. Nevertheless. 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. The Rise of Droukdal
. in fact be absorbed into the GSPC’s domestic campaign.” Hassan was obliged to resign. Soon thereafter. for instance. VI. but who would. He continued to make entreaties to Al Qa’ida. the 2nd anniversary of September 11. 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). Abou Ibrahim Mustapha. sought to actively support the Iraqi insurgents in order to gain credibility for the GSPC. he fostered pan-Islamic solidarity and internationalism in order to reestablish a sense of unity amongst GSPC operatives. he issued a communiqué of support for Al Qa'ida in which he criticized Hattab’s position and extolled bin Laden. 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. the old guard members who espoused a nationalist orientation were expelled from the GSPC (Guidère 2007). 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. Finally.focus on preserving the honor of the Iraqis. On September 2003. When the shura of the GSPC voted to actively support the “Iraqi brothers. who succeeded Hattab in 2003. Although he wanted to eventually establish his group as some sort of training authority.
he was enthused when an officer of the FIS and a former member of the Algerian army. like the majority of young Muslim students. informants. He continued to hold this role when he enlisted with the GIA from 1993 to 1996. In 1996. assets. by supporting a cause that was seen to benefit the global community of Muslims. intelligence. the GSPC was struggling to fill its ranks with recruits. As a youth. he was attracted to the FIS and actively sought to get close to its leaders. recruited him. Droukdal realized that in order to maintain support. he went underground at the age of 23 (Guidère 2007). Abdelmalek Droukdal immediately assumed control of the GSPC. and logisticians. a merger with Al Qa’ida was particularly appealing to Droukdal (Johnson 2006). he pursued a degree in technology from the University of Blida. Droukdal sought to provide a new focal point for his members by participating in the global jihad. he was promoted to chief bomb maker for one of the most important GIA
. By affiliating with Al Qa’ida. situated near Mifan in the Blida region. As a member of the clandestine ranks of the FIS. he was assigned the mission of fabricating explosives due to his scientific background and knowledge of chemical bases and mechanical processes. he officially joined the organization and in December 1993. the GSPC needed to achieve a certain number of visible successes to appear active and successful. the GSPC could more easily recruit operatives. Thus. Born on April 20. After losing combatants due to the amnesty program announced by the Bouteflika regime. 1970 in the small village of Zayan.Upon Mustapha’s death. Said Makhloufi. Droukdal was recognized as an exceptional student. the GSPC would gain access to a network of financiers. who easily obtained his baccalaureate in 1989 in mathematics. In 1992. Thus. from 1990 to 1993. he hoped to study engineering. Nevertheless. Additionally. One year later. and media specialists who could reinforce the group’s capabilities and help it lead operations.
Although he served the GIA in a military capacity. Instead of concentrating media attention on local attacks. Droukdal sought to inscribe the actions of the GSPC in an international context by publicizing the GSPC’s activities in Afghanistan. which had been created in 1998. one year later. he was selected to command the Al-Quds Brigade (Abu Bakr alSiddiq Brigade) at the behest of the leader of the GIA (Guidère 2007). he had not yet had any contact with Al Qa’ida (Guidère 2007). he frequently issued communiqués
. Finally. Droukdal’s Program: Toward Global Jihad Upon assuming power. he nominated Droukdal as the director of the consultative council. Somalia. incentivized by his opportunistic desire to revive the demoralized GSPC. he commenced a policy of internationalization.battalions. While he was involved in planning a limited number of attacks. Upon his appointment as emir of the GSPC. Thus. Chechnya. he seized to opportunity to serve as chief military sergeant for the GSPC. VII. In 2001. Soon thereafter. After Mustapha assumed power. He occupied this position until 2003. sought to align with other jihadist groups. instructing his followers in the ways of global jihad. he conducted a nuanced public relations campaign and comprehensive media reform. when Hassan Hattab was forced to resign. Libya. he allegedly opposed the massacres conducted by the organization in the late 1990s. 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 was promoted to the position of supreme emir of the GSPC after Mustapha’s death. he served the GSPC as an ideological figurehead. In order to accomplish this feat. Thus. and the Sudan. with his inauguration. Droukdal. Hattab selected Droukdal as a member of his consultative council and made him a regional commander for the GSPC.
which took place from March 22-24. and other international themes (Guidère 2007). he urged jihad as a way to defend Muslim honor. 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. Finally. in Morocco. He derided these leaders as puppets of the American government. Later. which was inspired by that of Al Qa’ida in Iraq. a GSPC statement posted by Droukdal on the Internet defending the raid indicated that the attack was in response to U. For instance. In publishing this document. in Chechnya. thereby promulgating Al Qa’ida’s anti-Western program. It included articles on Salafism. The first operation undertaken by the GSPC outside its borders occurred in Mauritania in June 2005. he issued a communiqué addressed to the leaders meeting in Algiers.S. These initiatives allowed him to transmit his message to operatives across the Maghreb region. Droukdal sought to align the GSPC theoretically with Al Qa’ida and express his obeisance to Bin Laden and Zarqawi (Guidère 2007). He criticized the Arab leaders who allegedly embraced communism and capitalism and were becoming increasingly sensitive to the JudeoChristian coalition. was a reprisal of themes elucidated by Al Qa'ida. the President of the Chechen Republic in May 2004. he circulated a communiqué congratulating the Chechen mujahedeen for the assassination of Ahmed Kadirov. This communiqué. which was broadcast to a large audience of operatives and supporters. The communiqués included messages with international themes. Droukdal’s media strategy became clear after the Summit of the Arab League in Algiers. which were still committed to local initiatives. 2005. Droukdal launched a magazine for the GSPC.-led military exercises in northern Africa dubbed
. a more “global” goal. For instance. the crisis in Iraq.regarding international politics and events affecting the Middle East and the Maghreb. In response to this event.
leaders from Al Qa’ida and the GSPC signed a pact of fraternity (Jebnoun 2007). Shortly thereafter. This recognition was particularly meaningful for the Algerian operatives because it made them feel more “secure” in their ventures. a long video filming the combatants who had participated in the operation was broadcast over the Internet in jihadist forums. knowing that they had Al Qa’ida’s support. Using this video. Droukdal sought to encourage Maghreb jihadists to join the Algerians in their struggle. counterterrorism campaign in Africa. This operation provoked the first official reaction of Al Qa'ida to the GSPC. in 2005. Furthermore.
.the “Flintlock Plan” by military officials. The communiqué ended by urging the Islamic youth throughout North Africa to join the Algerian cause (Lecocq and Schrijver 2007). this was the first time Al Qa’ida had congratulated another group not affiliated with their organization. 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. This was the first time that Droukdal actively sought to recruit from outside the Algerian ranks. the director of the media division of Al Qa’ida in Iraq issued a communiqué congratulating the GSPC. The statement also denounced the recent arrests and trials by Mauritanian authorities of dozens of Islamic extremists accused of having links to the GSPC. including Algerian. One week after the attack. In fact. Mauritanian and Chadian troops. Moreover. Droukdal began filming all operations conducted by the GSPC and distributing these clips online in the same manner as Zarqawi (Guidère 2007).. Droukdal realized that he could encourage internationalization by amending his membership roster.S. These exercises were part of a broader U. Malian.
Zarqawi signaled his complicity with the GSPC by seizing two Algerian diplomats. Droukdal proposed a system of transmitting information whereby a central media committee would transmit all communiqués. 2005). During the summer of 2005. Prior to this effort. Droukdal’s leadership during this time period was primarily ideological in nature. he murdered the hostages. Algerian security services contributed to this information overflow by distributing false reports on the GSPC’s channels. there were numerous GSPC media outlets transmitting information simultaneously. he sought to bracket the Algerian operations. Upon taking these hostages he promised to execute them unless the Algerian government withdrew its support for the war in Iraq.In July 2005. Consequently. First of all. This system enabled the GSPC to elucidate several ambiguous arguments and clarify dubious information(Gray and Stockham 2008). each GSPC katibat possessed its own media bureau and published its own communications regarding its operations and successes within its territory. When the Algerian government failed to respond. Thus. as evidenced by the frequency of his declarations and interchanges and his efforts to improve the
. As a result. 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. the GSPC’s communications were characterized by a general cacophony and ataxia. Droukdal responded by issuing a communiqué in which he thanked Zarqawi and extolled Al Qa’ida in Iraq (Guidère 2007).. he sought to centralize the GSPC’s communications. 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. Moreover. Those communiqués not approved by this committee could be regarded as unauthentic.
Droukdal’s role as an ideological leader steering the GSPC’s internationalization through an assertive public relations drive continued after this announcement. The Announcement of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb Finally. Droukdal personally supervised all the preparations (Moss 2008). under Droukdal. 2006. could positively contribute to Al Qa’ida’s ideological appeals and combat operations. one cannot ignore the fact that prior to the official announcement of the merger of Al Qa’ida and the GSPC. Ayman al-Zawahiri. thereby crystallizing the relationship. VIII. intent on ensuring that the GSPC’s membership. on September 11. Therefore. two bombs exploded in the port de Delis. The attack involved immaculate planning: the GSPC had surveyed the location for weeks and the day before. announced the merger of Al Qa’ida and the GSPC. he expressed the
. His communiqué was particularly revelatory because it reflected the alleged changes in the official ideology of the GSPC. the deputy leader of Al Qa’ida.GSPC’s reception nationally and internationally. Droukdal also directed several tactical changes to prepare his organization for international jihad. 2005. Al Qa’ida Central Command had stalled the merger for one year. overall his leadership performance improved during this time period. Two days later.” 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. His discourse supported pan-Islamic notions and highlighted the necessity of creating an “Islamic United States. he published a communiqué affirming the GSPC’s allegiance to Al Qa’ida and bin Laden. Moreover. a group of combatants had penetrated the highly protected port. It is important to note that this announcement came one year after Droukdal had made his first forays to Al Qa’ida. However. On December 22. This was the first time that the GSPC had led an attack against a maritime target. on the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.
a joint venture between a Halliburton subsidiary. he wanted to highlight its role in global jihad. IX. He expressed confidence in the specific competencies and ideological underpinning of Al Qa’ida’s leadership.sentiment that Al Qa’ida was the only group that could unite all Islamic combatants and steer the battle against the Coalition forces. Droukdal expressed concern about projecting a certain image of his organization to his base as well as the international community. Spain. AQIM conducted an attack against a bus transporting employees from Brown & Root-Condor. it was now time for him to change the name of his organization. In changing the name of the GSPC to Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. nine of whom were wounded. and France). in an elaborate roadside bombing. For instance. 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). however. Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb (AQIM). Droukdal issued another claim in which he suggested that after pledging allegiance to Islam and demonstrating his faith in Bin Laden. Sonatrach. The bomb attack killed an Algerian driver in a convoy transporting the workers. a few recent attacks indicate otherwise. Moreover. including
. A New Organization In the months after the name change. in December 2006. thereby easing the qualms of his subordinates (Guidère 2007). This change would demonstrate the solidarity of Al Qa’ida and the GSPC. and the Algerian stateowned oil company. KBR. Approximately six months later. Droukdal and his operatives began to target foreigners who continued to support secular regimes and proselytize their culture (specifically the United States. Some scholars have suggested that AQIM remains sharply focused on its Kabylia strongholds despite Droukdals’s global rhetoric (Filiu 2009).
and the explosions was also transmitted. the surveillance and lookout. Droukdal encouraged the evolution from guerilla-oriented operations such as armed assaults to terror-oriented operations such as bombings. One bomber drove into the guard post at the government building housing the offices of the prime minister and the Interior Ministry. in which AQIM admitted to the attack. Iraq and training camps in the Sahel to pursue international jihad. in online jihadist forums about one month later. indoctrinate. Chechnya. However. AQIM was able to establish communities in Europe to provide money. He encouraged his operatives to executed attacks inspired by the Iraqi model. 2007 demonstrated Droukdal’s new tactics. attention should be paid to the tactical changes that he implemented. killing at least 33 people and injuring others. Originally. the GSPC was engaged in a war of attrition whereby combatants would descend from the mountains and attack the armed forces. emulated the propaganda materials of Al Qa’ida in Iraq (Jebnoun 2007). Under his leadership. and train potential terrorists. On this day. Droukdal disclosed a communiqué. As a result of Droukdal’s press campaign. A lengthy film of the operation. Afghanistan. Always attentive to public reaction. This video. recruit. Recent reports express fear that AQIM will be able to increased recruitment in Mauritania or Nigeria. detailing the fabrication of the bombs. 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
. While Droukdal’s role was primarily ideological. The attacks that occurred on April 11.four Britons and one American. intended to galvanize combatants and attract recruits. These recruits were then dispatched to Kashmir. the use of firearms plummeted while the use of explosives augmented (Gyves and Wyckloff 2006). three cars driven by suicide bombers blew up in Algiers. Some specialists fear that AQIM could severely damage the energy sector in the Niger delta (Moss 2008).
Such spectacular attacks could also appeal to younger sympathizers (Algeria: Violence Returns 2007). Droukdal was compelled to publish a communiqué to outline his intentions and defuse criticism. simultaneous explosions. In doing so. They also demonstrated the professionalization of AQIM’s services. Final Observations
. As always. Finally. rigged vehicles. an effective propaganda and selective recruitment were employed to make AQIM a formidable. remote detonation. and sustainable fighting force. His communiqué suggested that the April 11 attacks were executed in response to a concession agreement with the United States. Droukdal criticized the adoption of an anti-Islamic policy allegedly championed by the Americans in their war against terrorism. Droukdal positioned his group as the defender of the riches of Muslim countries faced with avarice and imperialism of the West. This also permitted AQIM officers to move from the periphery of Algeria back into its urban centers. Now. The second justification for the attacks was the Algerian government’s military cooperation with the American forces. this method consisted of engaging in spectacular attacks with a symbolic dimension that could destabilize the regime. he expressed a message frequently articulated by Al Qa’ida. Through this rhetoric. X. kamikaze fighters. Droukdal suggested that this was the beginning of a foreign occupation and deemed it necessary to combat the Western presence in Algeria.office of the special forces of the police in Bab Ezzouar). Moreover. These attacks utilized remote explosives and were thus less costly in human lives. which could allow the Western power to use petroleum in Algeria for 100 years. thereby cementing the link between the two organizations (Guidère 2007). To capitalize upon his operatives’ anti-colonialist concerns.
Moreover. which had dramatically expanded since the September 11. After the ranks of his organization had been depleted at the turn of the twenty-first century. Droukdal recognized the global appeal of Al Qa’ida message. the GSPC could render itself capable of operating in the context of global jihad. By uniting radical Islamists to attack Americana and French targets in northwestern Africa. Thus. The most powerful French AQIM cell to date was dismantled in September 2005. 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 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. The US invasion of Iraq and media coverage of American detention and interrogation policies lent credence to the Qa’ida narrative that
. AQIM continues to conducted several suicide attacks and roadside bombings. he effectively brought the Algerians insurgents out of isolation so they could work more closely with international Islamic networks to promote Islam. attacks.To this day. Droukdal advanced the goal of undermining the secular Algerian regime while damaging the interests of Western nations (Black 2007). can only be explained by highlighting Droukdal’s ideological leadership and the major shifts that he pioneered on the propaganda front. The merger. each accompanied by a revealing and incantatory communiqué. Droukdal sought to effectively straddle the divide between local and international Islamic terrorism. he directed an ideological shift – from a philosophy based on regional preoccupations to a more internationally oriented perspective. He incited the organization to expand by attacking foreign targets. rather than confining itself to local activity. Droukdal recognized that by aligning itself with Al Qa’ida. Through his communications. and its success. most particularly French interests.
He saw clearly an opportunity for synergy. 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. Droukdal capitalized upon these trends by highlighting the importance of solidarity among the mujahedeen in face of Western aggression against Islam. he was able to tap into local grievances and tie them to the global jihad against the west.portrayed isolated American actions as a coordinated war against Islam. ready-made networks that could be internationalized. Having formulated an appropriate ideological stance. Al Qa’ida’s global ideology intersected with local anger directed at the undemocratic regime would encourage jihadists’ activity in the Maghreb. Thus.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat gave the group’s members free reign. the GAI rejected the Muslim Brotherhood’s gradualist approach to change. renounced violence. members of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya apologized for the group’s involvement in the Sadat assassination. Both campaigned to overthrow the secular Egyptian government and to replace it with an Islamic regime. an Egyptian fundamentalist writer and educator. two prominent Salafi jihadist groups operated in Egypt: Al-Gama’a alIslamiyya (GAI) and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.Chapter 7: Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya: The Unrealized Merger
In the early 1970s. covertly supplying them with arms with which to defend themselves against potential attacks by Marxists or Nasserites. Qina. In addition. Upon its birth. uneducated individuals from
. 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. However. Both broke with the Muslim Brotherhood over the latter’s commitment to nonviolence. Moreover. Asyu’. and Sohaj. his rivals. and financial crackdowns during much of the 1990s. mass arrests. and denounced Al Qa’ida. and instead based their ideology on the principles articulated by Sayyid Qutb. In contrast. However. the Egyptian Islamic Jihad members joined forced with Al Qa’ida. Both collaborated on the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and both fell victims to the bitter campaign of state violence. GAI recruited more indigent. 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. in the late 1990s. Why did GAI repudiate terrorism rather than affiliate with Al Qa’ida to continue its brutal campaign? I.
As a result of his role in the assassination. Sadat changed his political strategies to combat internal unrest in the mid 1970s. Fearing harsh repression (like that which the Muslim brotherhood has experienced under former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser). where he found and developed financial supporters.the southern rural regions of Assiuet and Minya to further populate their rank and file (Keats 2002). clashes between Egyptian security forces and Islamic movements in the universities increased. Feldner. avoiding a sterner sentence on a technicality (Keats 2002). GAI leaders decided. Crackdown under Mubarak
. During Al-Rahman’s time abroad. The Sadat Assassination Upon returning to Egypt in 1980. including Saudi Arabia. Consequently. Al-Rahman fled Egypt and toured the neighboring Arab countries. The GAI and Egyptian Islamic Jihad allegedly cooperated in this conspiracy. Perturbed by the rapid development and mobilization of the Salafi organizations in Egypt. AlRahman served six months in an Egyptian prison. and Lav 2006). Sheikh Omar Abdel Al–Rahman assumed the mantle as spiritual leader for the group during its infancy. As a result of his policies. Al-Rahman issued a fatwa that provided the religious justification for the assassination of President Sadat in 1981. II. He began rounding up several Islamic militants and placing them in jail. “A need [had] arisen for a military force for us to defend [themselves]” (Carmon. they established a branch devoted to jihad and began to execute increasingly violent operations. III. 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).
His methods included false arrests. torture. Hosni Mubarak began a brutal campaign against Egypt’s militant groups that lasted throughout the 1980s. some GAI members returned to Egypt where they initiated a campaign against the influences of Western culture. Campaign of Terror After the Soviet-Afghan war. many fighters moved on to combat the Serbian forces that were decimating Bosnian Muslims in Yugoslavia. like Mustafa Hamza. many GAI members continued or commenced their training in Al Qa’ida facilities in the Sudan and Afghanistan. they carried out a number of attacks on tourists that killed dozens of people. and spread diseases such as AIDS (Stacher 2002). a leading member of the GAI. many GAI members and leaders fled to Afghanistan. During these years. who continued to struggle under high unemployment(Gerges 2000). such as Osama Bin Laden. Al-Rahman. 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. where they were active in the jihad against the Soviet Union. even worked for businesses owned by Osama bin Laden in Somalia (Carmon. Moreover. During the 1990s. this crackdown further radicalized the university-educated population. following the Soviet withdrawal. and Lav 2006).
. Between 1992 and 1993. Some. IV. 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. and executions.Sadat’s successor. Although fairly successful at curbing the number of violent attacks. Feldner. In Afghanistan.
V. bookstores. militants killed nine German tourists and their driver in front of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. In September 1997. arresting thousands of suspected terrorists and executing or killing others during police raids. Al-Rahman was arrested in the United States in connection with the first World Trade Center bombing. 1997. and a stop to agitation to commit attacks. Yet despite his arrest. 36 of whom were Swiss) (Keats 2002). and banks. GAI announced a unilateral initiative of conciliation with the Egyptian regime. In 1996. which declared a halt to all armed operations within and outside Egypt. signed by six of the organization's leaders. the group allegedly collaborated with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad in a failed assassination attempt on President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa. Al-Rahman was arrested in the United States in connection with the first World Trade Center bombing. The group bombed theaters. the group killed 63 people at a tourist site in Luxor (including four Egyptians and 59 foreign tourists. several GAI leaders immediately conveyed their disgust. In 1996.In 1993. Thus. In 1995. During a court hearing. including the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. On July 5. when the Luxor attack occurred. he and nine other operatives were convicted for conspiring to destroy New York City landmarks. Two months later.
. GAI continued to attack tourists throughout the 1990s and began targeting Egyptian business establishments as well. a GAI member read aloud a communiqué. In 1993. Collapse of an Armed Group As a result of GAI’s campaign in the late 1990s. he and nine other operatives were convicting for conspiring to destroy New York City landmarks. including the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. Cairo clamped down on both the GAI and Egyptian Islamic Jihad even more. Ethiopia. This prompted some influential militants to reconsider their strategy and tactics and some GAI leaders renounced violence.
Consequently. but rather by a breakaway faction (Ghadbian 2000). It is unclear whether Taha actually agreed with bin Laden’s views. For instance. organized by Mustafa Hamza. Moreover. the larger. The Luxor attack and the reports of mutilation of the victims’ bodies had sparked public repulsion at GAI. as a result of increased governmental scrutiny. the group split into two factions. the GAI spokesman Osama Rushdie. Yet despite his efforts. a Netherlands resident announced his resignation (Cohen 2003). led by Rifai Ahmad Taha deplored the ceasefire as cowardly and called for a return to armed operations. it needed a publicity boost if it was to continue functioning as a viable terrorist organization. Moreover.insisting that the operation was not executed by the GAI. Zawahiri's organization experienced a major upset when in 1998 Albania agreed to extradite 12 members of EIJ to Egypt
. the GAI was weakened both operationally and financially by the aftermath effects of the attack. 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. 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. supported non-violence and the ceasefire.” thereby becoming a signatory to the International Islamic Front. more radical faction. moderate one. The GAI had witnessed how the Egyptian Islamic Jihad had suffered significant setbacks because of its decision to join Al Qa’ida. In 1997. or simply saw the financial and organizational advantages that Al Zawahiri had reaped from making the decision to join Al Qa’ida. while the smaller. wanted to seize power in the GAI. Taha signed Bin Laden’s 1998 Declaration of War against the “Jews and Crusaders. Therefore.
in August 2006. We are even thinking of paying blood money to the victims” (Halawi 2002). the group’s historic leadership declared a unilateral ceasefire. VI. He asserted that Al Qa’ida’s aggressive tactics have failed Muslims. 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. Karam Zuhdi. During his interview with Asharq al-Awsat." he maintained. Reconciliation In 1999. In 2002. Since this time. even said the GAI owes the Egyptian people "an apology for the crimes which [the group] has committed against Egypt. agreed to this measure. “Their aim is jihad. a senior leader and chief ideological theorist for the GAI. GAI leadership in Egypt quickly rejected this claim. Nevertheless. Ayman al-Zawahiri. despite their proclamations in favor of non-violence. The GAI has not conducted a terrorist attack either inside or outside Egypt since August 1998. Dr. the historic leadership of the GAI has published a series of books. 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. who remained the group’s spiritual leader. the leadership issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to end violence. In doing so. by then the closest associate of Osama bin Laden. a self-proclaimed leader of the underground group.in the case known as the “Returnees from Albania” (Aboul-Enein 2004) Consequently. known as the “Concept Correction Series” in which they renounce indiscriminate violence and extremist interpretations of Islam. stressed that significant differences in philosophy exist between the GAI and Al Qa’ida. Nageh Ibrahim. and our aim is Islam. Since this time. despite widespread skepticism in Egypt and abroad about the nature of its true
. announced that the GAI had merged with Al Qa’ida. Even Al-Rahman.
While they attacked Western targets. they decided to renounce violent activity rather than appeal for Al Qa’ida for assistance to continue their existence as a terrorist group. Consequently. VII. banks.intentions. its leaders were convinced that they could accomplish in Egypt what the mujahedeen had achieved in Afghanistan. GAI was well established and active prior to Al Qa’ida’s emergence in the international arena. Moreover. who were not already entrenched in Salafi jihadist circles. which gave precedence to doctrinal correctness above all other issues. the ouster of the “illegitimate” governing power. 2006). 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 economy
. politicians. however. when their group was in a state of imminent decline. evidence suggests that this choice was strategic. They attacked Coptic Christians. GAI members were less receptive to Al Qa’ida’s ideology of global jihad than other groups that have emerged since that time. primarily to the establishment of an Islamic state in Egypt (Rabasa et al. When GAI reemerged in the early 1990s with a renewed sense of purpose after the return of its members from the Afghan jihad. tourists. and the media with the goal of undermining Egyptian state power. they perceived their struggle as regionally confined to the Egyptian territory. secular institutions. police. Explaining the Decision not to Affiliate with Al Qa’ida The leadership of the GAI had longstanding connections with Al Qa’ida. and exhibited strong anti-Western proclivities. GAI interpreted their jihad much more narrowly than groups affiliated or associated with Al Qa’ida. GAI’s theoretical and operational priorities were the product of a literal reading of the Quranic and prophetic texts. the GAI has concentrated its efforts on revising its former extremist worldview and distinguishing itself from Qa’ida (Zambelis 2006). While this decision may seem counterintuitive.
” Between arrests.
. when several leaders of GAI announced its cease-fire initiative. wider reading and understanding is evident in the sources on which the leadership relied to compose the revisionist books that they published (Halawi 2002). During their time in prison. Additionally.and creating the perception that the Egyptian government could not protect its citizens (Keats 2002). the ranks of the leadership and general membership were decimated. the security establishment facilitated meetings between the group’s leader and members in Egyptian prisons to ensure that the group honored this commitment. and severe treatment in prisons and detention facilities. In fact. after its initiative to end the violence. reunite the groups’ ranks. Reflecting on the seven years of GAI violence between 1992 and 1997. Feldner. the effect of their new. this may have been a maneuver to buy time. a former leader of GAI. GAI were compelled to shift strategies as a political tactic. Thus. in the late 1990s. by the turn of the century the group realized that it was useless to try to topple a powerful regime by force. even with Al Qa’ida’s backing. deaths in armed clashes. and prepare for a new offensive. This exceedingly severe security strategy disrupted the ranks and cohesion of GAI prompting the group’s leaders to reconsider its acts and concepts. stiff sentences that included dozens of executions. However. Nevertheless. 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. the relative success of the government’s security policy obligated the group to concede to what its leaders called “military defeat. 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. Osama Rushdie. and Lav 2006) It is possible that in mid-1997.
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). the costs of attempting violent attacks and of these attacks failing. which must fan out among a possibly substantial population. one must note that terrorism depends on the ability to generate the appropriate level of terror and anxiety. they lack resources. GAI acted on the basis of its calculation of the benefit to be gained from violent action. Accordingly. The costs of executing attacks became too high and the consequences of adopting a nonviolent position seemed promising (Crenshaw 1987). Final Observations For GAI. by definition. However. the consequences of adopting a nonviolent position and the probability of achieving its political goals through terrorist undertakings.” When GAI was unable to achieve its political goal through terrorism. Crenshaw’s description of the instrumental approach to assessing terrorist violence is useful for understanding GAI’s rationale. they changed their strategic tactics. Acts of terror induce psychological effects. GAI used terrorism to influence political behavior by devaluing the state in the eyes of its citizens. 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. nor did GAI members have any interest in targeting the “far enemy. Even with some assistance from Al Qa’ida. it was meant to produce a change in the Egyptian government’s political position. A constant failure to achieve its stated goals led to internal strife and its ultimate collapse as a terrorist group. 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. not to destroy the government’s military potential. Thus. GAI would not have been able to defeat the Egyptian government. the group abandoned its violent
GAI now appears to be concerned with carving out some political space to operate in Egypt. terrorism was merely a means to an end and substitutes were available.strategy.
. For GAI.
or social bonds could motivate local jihadist leaders to enroll in Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. interventions may need to be focused at understanding and disrupting Al Qa’ida’s mid-level management. broad-based Al Qa’ida network augmented by affiliations with various groups has durability that will surpass his mortality. while social bonds facilitated the process of affiliating (i. ideology. social bonds served as a “permissive factor”).
. It is naïve to focus on chief executives. the analysis of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb provides an example of an intelligent and shrewd local jihadist leader.e. like Osama bin Laden or Ayman Zawahiri or to concentrate on the suicide bombers who conduct operations. I posed the question: what motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida? I hypothesized that opportunism. Moreover. In the first chapters. While Osama bin Laden’s capture or death would be an important psychological blow to those vested in his invincibility. Consequently. his loosely affiliated. it is necessary to examine the staff that operates at each level of the hierarchy within the system. 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.Chapter 8: Conclusion and Discussion – Al Qa’ida’s Commanding Officers: A Skilled Management Team
To understand terrorist organizations. the commanding officers that direct Al Qa’ida’s affiliates. The data collected in this survey and analysis of Al Qa’ida’s leadership has significantly demonstrated that leaders were strongly incentivized by opportunism. 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).
In order to survive. 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. organizations must attract and retain members. Since they are rational actors. the type of regime against which they are fighting. competition against other rebel groups. the fundamental purpose of any political organization is to maintain itself. it is not surprising that local jihadist group leaders have opportunistic motives for joining Al Qa’ida. Conciliation programs can be a successful counter-terrorism strategy when amnesty is offered to operatives who renounce violence. Within the larger understanding of a terrorist group’s political aims. Psychological surveys indicate that terrorists are not psychologically deviant or ideologically blinded(Sageman 2004). 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). Moreover. when the costs of other forms of violence increase. But what are these motives? In fact. in particular. there may be a divergence of opinion on precisely what objectives should be
. My data analysis and case studies support these conclusions. as was the case with the GSPC (Sederberg 1995). 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.Previous studies depict terrorists as rational actors seeking to maximize political goals (Lake 2003). popular support. Counterterrorism efforts aimed at winning battles and capturing terrorist actors deplete the ranks of terrorist organizations by physically eliminating combatants. One should consider terrorism as “one of a set of rebel tactics that is consciously selected in response to changes in funding. and counterinsurgency tactics” (Laitin and Jacob Shapiro 2008) Like individual terrorists. Leaders. or both. Factionalism is also common amongst terrorist organizations.
Thus.e.” While it is impossible to know precisely the size of Al Qa’ida due to the decentralized structure of its organization. when they occupy a “moral high ground”). Thus. Al Qa’ida trained over 5. many groups may choose to align with Al Qa’ida to remain salient. 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. especially in less democratic nations. including suicide bombers. In recent years. and those with inside knowledge of the military and police(Gray and Stockham 2008). like the GAI. When this occurs. However. Al Qa’ida can easily dispatch a few combatants to assist local groups in desperate need of increased membership and expertise. Al Qa’ida can transfer operatives to help support the local jihadist group since Al Qa’ida’s own recruitment is accelerating. Finally.pursued. This divergence compels operatives to defect. Al Qa’ida’s recruitment has picked up in 30-40 countries. Groups only enjoy popular support when the population believes their actions are justified under the political conditions of the country (i. groups may alienate the communities in which they operate by conducting particularly violent or poorly executed operations (Crenshaw 1991).
. For example. Al Qa’ida probably has several thousand members and associates. making recruitment amongst these communities increasingly difficult. Since the 1980s. transforming from an armed group into a political party is no easy feat. combatants. 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. When loss of membership occurs. their public image shifts from well-intentioned revolutionaries to common delinquents.000 militants in camps in Afghanistan. some groups may find it beneficial to renounce violence and enter the political arena. Recruiters for Al Qa’ida reportedly told researchers that volunteers were “beating down their doors” to join (Atran 2004).
Al Qa’ida is a high-value global brand that is esteemed amongst the Salafi community. 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). Al Qa’ida has substantially promoted and publicized its image throughout the globe. groups gain credibility and respect that can be effectively leveraged to increase recruitment. depicting its operatives as “freedom fighters. or of occupation forces stepping with their boots on the backs of Arabic men that have just been bound
. Al Qa’ida also selects sympathetic journalists to whom it grants interviews (Schweitzer 2008). These journalists present Al Qa’ida to the outside world in a supportive manner. as discussed in Chapter 3. To complement this strategy.” To supplement recruitment. By aligning with Al Qa’ida. many terrorist groups are compared to criminal gangs. striving for global jihad. Al Qa’ida established a communications committee to promote this representation through a well-executed publicity campaign. of coalition soldiers shooting wounded insurgents inside a mosque. recruits are shown provocative photos of Iraqi women and children killed or bloodied by Western bombardment.e. In fact. Al Qa’ida raises awareness amongst Muslims of the grievances that gave rise to its birth. Al Qa’ida uses propaganda to foster its positive public image as the defender of Islam. upon aligning with Al Qa’ida. Before joining forces with Al Qa’ida. they are perceived as legitimate actors. In doing so. their social status is enhanced. Recognizing the powerful potential of the media. Therefore. Through a program of propaganda and indoctrination. For instance. which produces the professional tapes and promotional film clips disseminated throughout the Arab and Western world.Additionally. primarily by means of the Qatari television station al-Jazeera. However. Al Qa’ida encourages potential operatives to follow in the footsteps of their pious predecessors (i. Bin Laden has created a company called al-Sahab.
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. Such emotional narratives highlight the theme of humiliation at the hand of callous and arrogant Western powers(Hafez 2007). Moreover. and mentored. indoctrinated. Thus. Al Qa’ida established numerous local military training facilities in Mindanao and Indonesia in the last two decades. both alumni of the Afghan jihad. Abdelmalek Droukdal certainly modeled his publicity efforts on that of Al Qa’ida and benefited from advice from Al Qa’ida’s media branch.and forced to the ground with black sacks over their faces. Al Qa’ida is infamous for providing terrorist training and for establishing sites and camps where recruits are educated.000 of Al Qa’ida seed money (Ward 2005). nature of the military and intelligence services. and weapons. Ansar al-Islam was started with $300. Al Qa’ida can help groups conduct attacks. Because of that. It can also offer groups information on the government. even death. etc. due to its exceptional intelligence-gathering skills. financial services.000 to $600. helped Jemaah Islamiyah plan and execute the 2002 Bali bombing that killed more than 2000 people (Abuza 2003). it effectively encourages redemption through faith and sacrifice. known as Muklhas. tyrants gained dominance over the Muslims in every aspect and every land”(Calvert 2004). known as Hambali and Ali Gufron. equipment. Al Qa’ida’s veterans can offer groups tactical and strategic advice. For example. Riduan Isamuddin.
. Al Qa’ida can offer groups financial resources. physical environment. For instance. According to several reports. 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. Finally.
Since Al Qa’ida provides local jihadist group leaders with numerous opportunities to stimulate and expand their organizations. Also. but also create and promote “heroes” that represent the organization. Due to these associations. and because such affiliations are not difficult to initiate due to the existence of prior social connections. Suicide attacks. rather than abandon their mission. While not a precipitant cause for an affiliation. 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. martyrdom operations not only produce spectacular incidents of large-scale destruction. demonstrate that the organization has a loyal and impassioned following. thereby making such affiliations more problematic and risky. Efforts should ensure that the necessary resources (both human and
. social networks can be thought of as a stipulation that pre-structures and facilitates the merger process. 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.Conducting attacks connotes a high degree of devotion and strength to potential recruits. in particular. Instead. just as a conventional military organization might glamorize its heroes to inspire others to volunteer for field military actions. By joining Al Qa’ida. Moreover. it may be futile for counterterrorist forces to discourage local jihadist group leaders from soliciting Al Qa’ida. 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). local jihadist group leaders are positioned to seek assistance from their colleagues when decline within their own organizations seems imminent. strategies should be developed to isolate these groups from Al Qa’ida.
stolen cars and other stolen property as well as biometric data. Throughout the 1990s. Bin Laden has devoted less attention and resources to AQIM. If groups are precluded from affiliating with Al Qa’ida. terrorists have learned how to make legal immigration channels and legitimate immigrant communities serve their lethal jihadist ends. Since the Iraqi branch of Al Qa’ida suffered this setback. Unilateral approaches to border control will leave a mismatch of contradictory national policies. A model system is that which is utilized in the European Union. Thus. former Secretary of Homeland Security. state borders were opened to international trade flows. This system is also used to store and disseminate information on extradition. and illegal migrants” (Ross 2003). For instance. it is necessary to treat carefully because restrictive “fortress” responses and sweeping immigrant surveillance hinder cooperation with key immigrant. However. Tom Ridge. governments should implement a networked border monitoring and border control system. they are less likely to survive or recuperate from setbacks. some suggest that AQIM’s globalization process has been impeded by the expulsion of AL Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) from Baghdad in 2008. third-country nationals refused entry to the EU and individuals
. In areas like the Core Arab states and the Maghreb. The new Schengen Information System computer database contains information on criminals on the run. thereby crippling its ability to supersede a regional dimension (Filiu 2009). previous asylum applications. communities. portrayed US borders as “conduits for terrorists. To thwart Al Qa’ida’s connections with local jihadist groups. weapons of mass destruction. especially Muslim. In the age of globalization.capital) cannot be exchanged between Al Qa’ida and its weaker partner. border control measures must be established to prevent the movement of terrorists and terror-related materials. which features a common visa policy and region-wide fingerprint or iris photography database.
After the merger. police training. counterterrorist forces can better undermine these leaders. By understanding what function local jihadist leaders play. 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. While there were no significant patterns in the data on the operational and logistic role of the leaders profiled. etc. Future research will center on the development of predictive models based on emerging patterns among terrorist groups that align with Al Qa’ida. 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. the leaders issued more communiqués. and aviation security capacity (Kagwanja 2006). 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.
. The second question that I sought to answer involved the type of role local jihadist leaders played within Al Qa’ida. granted more interviews.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. These predictive models could be used in order to develop strategies for a pre-emptive counter-response. I considered leadership roles before and after the affiliation to uncover trends. The United States can provide assistance to foreign governments to enhance operational capacity to tighten border controls. One impressive program was the East Africa Counter Terrorism Initiative. gave more speeches. For example. it appears that most leaders took on an increasingly ideological role after the merger.
as was the case with the GAI. and regional concerns. al-Ittihad al-Islami was established in the 1980s through the merger of Salafi groups. and subordinate loyalty. state. they gained the support of the Somali people through nationalist causes more than through a common affinity for Salafism. As mentioned in earlier chapters. Central to Al Qa’ida’s vision is the awakening of the Muslim ummah. a high degree of decision influence. When local jihadist leaders are not interested in promoting this agenda. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are uniquely positioned to persuade uncommitted followers that Al Qa’ida has a better ideology. unified struggle that transcends local. an affiliation will not occur. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are tightly coupled to their operatives. Al Qa’ida conceives its resistance as a single. the worldwide community of believers(Sutton and Vertigans 2006).To understand why this increase in evangelizing and political activity of these leaders occurs. In contrast. The leaders of local jihadist groups develop differentiated relationships with their
. Siad Barre. ethno-religious struggles. interactive communication patterns. 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. one must consider the philosophy and ambitions of local jihadist groups compared to Al Qa’ida. Consequently. effective influence tactics. For example. The roots of most of the terrorist networks included in this study can be traced to geographically separate. The dyadic relationship between these leaders and their followers is characterized by high quality leader-member exchange resulting from frequent communication. Although Bin Laden wants to align with local militant groups with country-specific grievances to increase his global reach and influence. an ideology that was widely unpopular in the country in previous years (West 2006). he demands that his commanding officers convince their operatives to adopt and accept Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. leader-member value agreement.
Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers correspond with their cohorts through communiqués. rhetoric. Because they know their audience well. through their ideological operations. due to their close relationship with operatives.rapports. Like Al
. the GSPC was encouraged to engage in suicide and arson attacks(Guidère 2007). For instance. Based on these motivational communications. in which they clarify their vision. speeches. and spin. Thus. as Droukdal did on numerous occasions. Due to such high quality leader-member exchange. When the security situation does not permit direct communications. 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. When a group first affiliates with Al Qa’ida. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers can ground their message in the narrative elements most likely to resonate with this target group. 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). they can apply effective message management. operatives must also integrate new tactics and strategies into their repertoire. followers are encouraged to take personal initiative and exercise personal leadership to make their unit more effective. In doing so. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers can convince their operatives to integrate their previous regional ambitions with a wider transnational Islamic agenda. culture shock is inevitable. rather than using an average leadership style. In addition to accepting Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. and interviews. Moreover. 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.
In addition. Droukdal issued a communiqué explaining and justifying this repositioning. finally acceptance occurs.” For example. These are identical to Dr. and shared. one of the most common difficulties that arise during the merger is “cultural differences.Qa’ida’s commanding officers. This can only be achieved by providing ideological guidance through leadermember exchanges and through public communications and appearances. They commence with disbelief and denial and pass into anger and then rage and resentment. 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. Although some of the groups that Al Qa’ida merges with have less than five hundred operatives. often accompanied by frustration and depression. transition mangers assume full-time responsibility and accountability for making integration work. Soon after the GSPC announced its merger with Al Qa’ida. the burden of responsibility still rests on the commanding officers to assuage their followers after the affiliation with Al Qa’ida commences. major change and generate a great deal of uncertainty due to the fact that organizational cultures are underpinned by deep assumptions that are constant. For Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers and corporate transition managers. patterned. next emotional bargaining begins. 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. Helen Kubler-Ross’s four stages of bereavement or
. Employees’ reactions most often pass through four distinct stages. When corporate mergers occur. mergers represent sudden. a corporation may encourage teamwork while the venture it subsumes may be more oriented towards individual initiatives.
A wide range of factors affect organizational change as produced during a merger. Communication should be their major priority throughout the merger process. promote. and support necessary changes in behaviors and culture to successfully realize the post-combination organization. In this context. principles. and address inconsistencies between the espoused operating principles and actual management of change.
. they should clarify critical success factors for the merger. anticipate the impact of change. and desired end state. they should serve as role models on how to “work together” for the goals of the organization. When a merger occurs. Leaders hoping to initiative organizational change and general follower acceptance face a daunting task. Effective leaders possess powerful persuasive personal characteristics and execute actions designed to change internal organizational culture and substance. and a sense that the future will be better than the past through their speeches and other outreach activities. like Droukdal. 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). Leaders. transition managers (and Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers) must define the new “combination” goals. they must inspire hope. leadership can be viewed as the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations (Covin et al.grief. These initiatives can only be achieved by assuming an ideological role (Kavanagh and Ashkanasy 2006). Finally. It is their responsibility to define. 1997). successfully promote change by implementing and campaigning for a unique vision of the organization through a publicity campaign. optimism. Finally. Moreover. They must assuage their followers’ fears and convince them of the saliency and relevance of the new program through constant communication.
For example.Understanding Al Qa’ida’s commanding officer’s role as transition managers during a merger is important when designing initiatives to undermine their efforts. have taken steps to promote peaceful co-existence with the government and society(Gunaratna and Ali 2009). several leaders of GAI and Al-Jihad al-Islami. It is important to remember that some groups. Such propaganda will appeal to communities anxious to retain their cultural heritage and religious integrity. authorities can publicize the rejection of Al Qa’ida by credible local figures. especially religious ones. The media has become a crucial battlefield in the current conflict against radical Islamic terrorism (Blanchard 2006). Moreover. In fact. 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. government communications strategy should build an attractive alternative to the Al Qa’ida worldview by appealing to a sense of deracinated nationalism. 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. another principle Islamist militant group in Egypt. do opt to renounce violence. like the GAI. This program should expose tension between Al Qa’ida leadership and supporters. Proxies must manage from affair and this sort of counter-terrorism publicity campaign. For instance. counterterrorist units should channel messages through volunteers in Internet forums(Brachman and McCants 2006). My data indicates that these commanding officers are leading Al Qa’ida’s growing media offensive. Thus. messaging should refute the imputation of malign Western intention in the Muslim world and undermine the notion that terrorism is authentically Islamic. Approaching communications in this manner ensures that the government avoids exacerbating feelings of alienation within Muslim communities. For
Our government should also realize this truism. a struggle for survival. Moreover. along with their PCS and data files. 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).
. the government should continue to capture Al Qa’ida news and production staff. 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. This study indicates that Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are playing an increasingly ideological role. and a war with no truce” (Payne 2009). Salafi and Islamist communities in London have consistently demonstrated skill. 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.instance. courage and commitment in countering al-Qaida propaganda and recruitment activity.
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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
S. 2009]. 2009]. 2009]. “Maliki Aide Who Discussed Amnesty Leaves Job. Blitzer. Zarqawi's Mysterious Successor (aka Abu Ayub al-Masri) . Available at: http://transcripts.html [Accessed March 4.45. Available at: http://www.” The Washington Post. Ellen.html [Accessed January 2. Amit. 2009]. Available at: http://www. The Osama Bin Laden I Know. Available at: http://www.” New York Times.” Backgrounder. Gannon.com/images/stories/Press_briefings/2007/070718_presser.02.msnbc. 2008.cnn. “Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. 2007.msn. Available at: http://www. “Al Qaeda in Iraq Chooses Zarqawi Successor.boston.army.com.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/02/AR2007050202036.” Operation Iraq Freedom: Official Website of the Multi-National Force .defenselink.” CNN. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq Update. 2009].mil/news/newsarticle. 2007. 2009].aspx?id=16029 [Accessed January 3. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq Leader May Be in Afghanistan.nytimes.html [Accessed March 3. Rutenberg.html [Accessed January 2. Department of Defense. Kevin. 2009]. Wolf. 2007. Gregory. 2006a.html [Accessed January 2. Available at: http://74.washingtonpost.Iraq. 2009].defenselink.mil/index. and Jonathan Finer. Available at: http://www. 2006.” U. “Insurgent Leader Al-Zarqawi Killed in Iraq. 2009]. Available at: http://www.com/id/13276364/ [Accessed March 4. Knickmeyer.125.” Boston. DoD News Briefing. Knickmeyer. “President Links Qaeda of Iraq to Qaeda of 9/11. Available at: http://www. 2009]. Peter L.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/08/AR2006060800114. and Mark Mazzetti. 2009]. and Jonathan Finer. “Shadowy Trail of al-Qaida in Iraq Leader.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/18/sitroom. “U. 2009].cnn.Appendix II: Sources by Terrorist Group
Al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at alTawhid wal-Jihad)
Benson. 2006a.com/2007/07/25/washington/25prexy. 2006b.S.132/search?q=cache:74UX2mQ_i-0J:www.” The Times of London. Available at: http://www. “Starr Reports Live from Ramadi Iraq. Garamone. Bergen. Department of Defense. U.S. Bergner. Jim.ece [Accessed March 4. Karouny. 2006. New Al-Qaida in Iraq Leader Reported .washingtonpost. Multinational Force . and Ibon Villelabeitia. New York: Free Press.com.” The Washington Post: A01. Coalition Officials Say. Mariam.co. 2007.Iraq. 2007.cjtf7. Kathy.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article674098. 2009]. Pam.cfr.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16576&Itemid=131 [Accessed January 2. 2008. MNF-I Press Brief – Operational Update .capture/index.” The Washington Post. Parker.com/2007/WORLD/meast/07/18/iraq. Eben.timesonline.org/publication/10894/ [Accessed March 4. MSNBC. Paley. 2006. Available at: http://www.pdf+khalid+almashadani&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=24&gl=us&client=firefox-a [Accessed January 2. 2006. “The Mysterious Heir to al-Zarqawi . and Rana Gargour-Sabbagh.mnfiraq. Smith. Available at: http://www.mil/news/briefingslide. “Masri Now Leads Iraq Al Qaeda. Ellen.” The Situation Room.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2006/06/12/iraq_mulls_talks_with_rebels/ [Accessed January 3.
. Ned. Available at: http://www. Kaplan.: Senior al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Held.” The Washington Post: A22.aspx?briefingslideid=309 [Accessed January 2. Jim. 2007.
Bjorgo.html [Accessed January 14. 2009]. “Profile: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi . David. Alain. Zawahiri. Black. Raphaeli. 2008.org/publication/9750 [Accessed March 11. Peter. David.telegraph. Wright. Available at: http://www. 2006.co. TLG Publications.com/2008/WORLD/meast/05/09/iraq. “Al-Qaida in Iraq Figure in Custody : NPR.org/templates/story/story. “Al-Qaeda Founder Launches Fierce Attack on Osama bin Laden . Says al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Not Captured.” Time.php?storyId=12060238 [Accessed January 2.html [Accessed March 12. New York: Broadway. Ayman al-Zawahiri.html [Accessed January 14. 2008.” The Telegraph. Cairo: Dar AlHamrousa. Mohammed et al. Nimrod. 2009]. Ayman Al-Zawahiri Kamaa Aaraftu/Ayman Al-Zawahiri As I Knew Him. “The Reconstituted Al-Qaeda Threat in the Maghreb.Tawfeeq. A.
. Available at: http://www. Available at: http://www.” CNN.umd.” Politique étrangère 3.start. “The Rebellion Within. Available at: http://www. Andrew. Tore. Leaving Terrorism Behind. 2007. The Al Qaeda Reader. 2002. 2006. 2005. Blair.com.
Egyptian Islamic Jihad
Al-Zayat. Bergen. Available at: http://www. 2003. M.cnn. Cullison. Higgins.9171. “Al-Qaeda Founder Launches Fierce Attack on Osama bin Laden. 2008. 2009]. Lee.S.” The Telegraph. 2009]. Raymond.npr. Hudson Teslik. Antil.cfr. Ibrahim.html [Accessed March 4. Linda. 2006.edu/data/tops/terrorist_organization_member.17049.time. L. “Terrorist’s Odyssey: Saga of Dr.org/publication/9866/ [Accessed March 3. 2009a.” Council on Foreign Relations. African Research Bulletin (23): 17045 . Laura.” Terrorism Monitor 5(2): 7-12. 2009b. 2002. Wertheimer. “Profile: Ayman al-Zawahiri.cfr. Available at: http://www. Ayman Al Zawahiri.” Terrorism and Political Violence 14(4): 1-22.asp?id=5832 [Accessed January 14.” The New Yorker. “Ayman Muhammad Rabi’Al-Zawahiri: The Making of an Arch-Terrorist.” Council on Foreign Relations. Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism.cnn.” National Public Radio. and John Burnett.com/time/magazine/article/0. New York: Taylor & Francis. 2007.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/4736358/Al-Qaeda-founder-launchesfierce-attack-on-Osama-bin-Laden.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/4736358/Al-Qaeda-founder-launchesfierce-attack-on-Osama-bin-Laden. Teslik. 2006. Mansfield.html [Accessed April 8. 2009].1187180.telegraph. 2002. Lee Hudson. Available at: http://www. 2006.00. 2009]. 2009]. 2009]. Available at: http://www. Available at: http://www. “L’Afrique et la «guerre contre la terreur». “U.
Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly Groupe Salafist pour la Prédication et le Combat)
Algeria: Violence Returns. 2009].” Wall Street Journal. 2007. Blair. 2007. and A.alqaedafree/index. “Ayman al-Zawahiri. CNN Programs. Egyptian Islamic Jihad.. His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr.Council on Foreign Relations.co.com/CNN/Programs/people/shows/zawahiri/profile.
2008. “Global Jihadism After the Iraq War. Stockham. Available at: http://www. Ib tauris. London: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd. “Al Qaeda in the Maghreb: The" Newest" Front in the War on Terror. Hafez.com/articles/2008/07/01/africa/01algeria. “An Introduction to a Special Issue of Strategic Insights: Analyses of the Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat (GSPC) . “The Origins of al Qaeda’s Ideology: Implications for US Strategy.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 25(1): 141-166. “An Interview with Abdelmalek Droukdal. “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb: the Evolution from Algerian Islamism to Transnational Terror. West Point Military Academy. Gilles.html?_r=1 [Accessed March 5. 2008. 2007.php?page=2 [Accessed March 17. Gyves. “Ragtag Insurgency Gains a Lifeline .” New York Times.stm [Accessed March 5. Now. 2007.
. Ellis.” Strategic Insights 5(8). Power and Interest News Report. Stephen. 2005. Christopher. Hegghammer.bbc. Peter. Thomas H. Noureddine. Available at: http://news. “In Algeria.iht. and E.” Strategic Insights 5(8). Mohammed. 2006. Jean Pierre. The Enigma of Islamist Violence. D. and P. Boudali. Squad et al. Droukdal. 2008. Hanna. H. Liane Kennedy. 2007.Blom. “Briefing: the Pan-Sahel Initiative. Lecocq. Himeur. Schrijver. Available at: http://www.” New York Times . 2008.. insurgents gain a lifeline from Al Qaeda .com/report. 2006. Jihadism Online: A Study of how Al-Qaida and Radical Islamist Groups Use the Internet for Terrorist Purposes. Georgetown University: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. “Counter-Terrorism in the Horn of Africa: New Security Frontiers. 2004.php?ac=view_report&report_id=641&language_id=1 [Accessed March 5. 2006. Kepel. Available at: http://www.co. Jebnoun. The GSPC: Newest Franchise in al-Qa'ida's Global Jihad. GSPC): An Operational Analysis. 2009. Gray. 2008.” African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 2(4): 091-097. and Chris Wyckloff.uk/2/hi/africa/3635470. Kagwanja. Rogan. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. 2009]. Anthony. 2007.” Parameters 35(1): 69-80.” Middle East Journal 60(1): 11.” International Herald Tribune. 2006. “Algerian Groupe Salafiste de la Predication et le Combat (Salafi Group for Call and Combat.com/2008/07/01/world/africa/01algeria. 2006. Mekhennet. B. “New Chief for Algeria's Islamists. Is the Maghreb the “Next Afghanistan"?: Mapping the Radicalization of the Algerian Salafi Jihadist Movement. 2007. Filiu. 2004. 2007. “The War on Terror in a Haze of Dust: Potholes and Pitfalls on the Saharan Front.” The Middle East Journal 63(2): 213-226.” Terrorism and Political Violence 19: 95-115. Old Strategies. African Security Review 15(3). Moss.” BBC News. 2009]. Intelligence Brief: Al-Qaeda's New Strategy in North Africa. 2009]. “Martyrdom Mythology in Iraq: How Jihadists Frame Suicide Terrorism in Videos and Biographies.pinr. Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. Amelie. Michael.nytimes. 2009]. Celso.” Institute for Security Studies. A.” African Affairs 103(412): 459-464. and D. Henzel. and Louis Martínez.” Mediterranean Quarterly 19(1): 80. Johnson. T. Cliff. 2006. Laetitia Bucaille. “The Local and Global Jihad of al-Qa ‘ida in the Islamic Maghreb. Mohamed arezki..
com/site/archives/2007/05/lebanons_fatah_1. 2009]. John. Luis.php [Accessed February 27. Available at: http://www. Werenfels. Negroponte. Available at: http://www. Ya Libnan. “Combating Terrorist Networks: An Evolutionary Approach.org/program/issue/document. 2005. 2009]. “$50. “North African immigrants in Europe and political violence.
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
Clark.cfm?DocumentID=2836&IssueID=56&StartRow=1&ListRows=10&ap pendURL=&Orderby=DateLastUpdated&ProgramID=39&issueID=56 [Accessed May 20. 2006. “Islamic "New Social Movements"? Radical Islam. United States Air Force Counterproliferation Center. “Istishad as an Ideological and Practical Tool in the Hands of Al-Qaeda. Alison. Gambil. Pargeter.asp?id=4400 [Accessed January 23. G.asp?id=5862 [Accessed January 26. 2006. 2005. Phillip. Joseph.” Mobilization: An International Quarterly 11(1): 101-115. Available at: http://yalibnan. Pargeter.” Journal of National Defense Studies 6: 25. Annual Threat Assessment of the Director of National Intelligence for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.jamestown. Rebecca.start.” Mediterranean Politics 12(3): 407-413. 2009]. The Libyan Paradox. 2007.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=30147 [Accessed January 23. Yamatz.
Ansar al-Islam/Jund al-Islam/Ansar al-Sunnah
Ansar al-Islam. Goolsby. Alison.” Mediterranean Politics 11(2): 151-165. 2009]. 2005.” Counterterrorism Blog. and John King. and Stephen Vertigans. Ward. 2007. and I. National Intelligence Council. 2009].” Review of African Political Economy 33(108): 219235.start. “In the Spotlight: The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Available at: http://www. Osama's Wake: The Second Generation of Al Qaeda. and Brian Fishman. Michael. “Libya: Reforming the Impossible?. Martínez.umd. Evan. 2009].” Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory 12(1): 7-20. Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records. 2007. Kohlmann. Al-Qa'ida and Social Movement Theory. Sutton. “Libya: The Conversion of a ‘Terrorist State’. New York: Columbia Univ Press. Counterterrorism Center.edu/data/tops/terrorist_organization_member..Roy. Lebanon's Fatah al-Islam leadership & Organization. Olivier. Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism. 2008.” Center for Defense Information. 2006a. Boston: Harvard University Press. Felter.edu/data/tops/terrorist_organization_profile. 2007. “Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism. Available at: http://www. Available at: http://counterterrorismblog.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 29(8): 731-747. 2006. 2006. Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.cdi.php [Accessed February 27. Martinez.org/2005/06/50000_reward_announced_for_ans. “Between the ‘Near’ and the ‘Far’ Enemy: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The Failure of Political Islam. Gary. 2007. Steinberg.umd. Schweitzer. Luis. 2006b. 1996. Blake .” Terrorism Monitor 3(6).000 Reward Announced for Ansar al-Sunnah Commander in Iraq.
. and Carol Volk.
2004.Jane's World Insurgency and Terrorism.html [Accessed February 27. 2009].Oslo court rejects mullah release.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/09/09/pakistan. “Army of Ansar al-Sunnah Website Update. al Qaida. Asbat al-Ansar (Lebanon) .173. Peter. “Ansar al-Islam: Back in Iraq . Maclean's 115(34): 12. Available at: http://www.mullahomar/index. US Department of State. Available at: http://www. Available at: http://www.aph.com/articles/Janes-World-Insurgency-and-Terrorism/Asbat-al-Ansar-Lebanon.aei. 2004.htm [Accessed May 19. “Salafi-jihadism in Lebanon. 2006. Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIO.globalsecurity. 2008. BBC. Jonathan.
Bergen. 2009. Available at: http://209. 2009]. . Available at: http://www.nu/archives/057937. 2004. “Mullah Omar in Pakistan .org/pbei/winep/policy_2003/2003_740. Courting Public Opinion. 2005. 2006.132/search?q=cache:PNdZs5NZnv0J:www. Gary. 2004. Press Room .globalpolitician. 2009]. 2008.uk/2/hi/europe/3393437. Available at: http://www. Available at: http://www. Available at: http://nationalsecurity.org/krekar.org/security/profiles/ahmad_abd_al-karim_al-sadi. 2009]. Anderson Cooper. Available at: http://www.gov/press/releases/js2206. Gambill.au/house/committee/pjcaad/terrorist_listingsb/ subs/sub5.gov. 2002. 2009]. 2009]. Michael.htm [Accessed May 19. Stanley. 2009].” CNN.co.treas. John.” American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.
.gov. Schanzer. Rusty. Available at: http://www.ertatcrg. 2009].US Department of the Treasury. Available at: http://www. ASIS & DSD . 2005.com. 2009].investigativeproject. and Charlie Moore.ag.” The Jawa Report: . Available at: http://mypetjawa. Trevor.php [Accessed January 26. “Ansar al-Sunna.” Perspectives on World History and Current Evens.org/article/20691 [Accessed May 19.85. 2009].cnn. 2003.au/agd/WWW/nationalsecurity. 2009].html [Accessed May 19.bbc.” Middle East Quarterly 11(1).” Global Politician.
Asbat Al Ansar.pdf+Asbat+al-Ansar+AND+leadership&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=15&gl=us&client=firefox-a [Accessed January 26.org/profile/127 [Accessed February 28.html [Accessed January 26. Gomez del Prado.org/579/ansar-al-islam-back-in-iraq [Accessed February 27.html [Accessed March 10.” Équipe de recherche sur le terrorism et l'antiterrorisme. Schanzer. 2006.com/24371-lebanon [Accessed May 19.janes. 2009]. 2009]. Treasury Designates Individual Financially Fueling Iraqi Insurgency. 2005.” Available at: http://www.stm [Accessed May 19. Jonathan. “Asbat al-Ansar .ciaonet. “Mullah Krekar Profile. “Description des groupes terroristes criminalisés par le Canada. 2009]. Available at: http://www.mu.htm [Accessed February 28. 2009]. Gregory. 2006.nsf/Page/What_Governments_are_doing_Listing_of_T errorism_Organisations_Asbat_al-Ansar [Accessed May 19. Available at: http://news. Rubin.org/groupes/groupes_description. Ansar Al-Islam: Postmortem or Prelude to More Attacks? The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Pike. Shackleford.pwhce. “Ahmad Abd al-Karim al-Sadi.” he Investigative Project on Terrorism.meforum.
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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
Operational leadership Ideological leadership Logistic leadership
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
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
Core Arab Cluster
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
Fazlur Rehman Khalil
Southern Asian cluster
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
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
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
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
Figure 2: Distribution by Type of Affiliation
Figure 3: Distribution by Region
67 13.67 0.5 20.5 1.67 1.67 13.5 0.67 13.14786E-09
11 8 13.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 13.67 13.5 20.018767854
27 0 13.042330234
.639411853 Social Network Affiliation 14 27 20.67 13.60648E-06
Table 2: Statistical Significance Testing (Two Scales)
Opportunistic Motive Not a motivation Motivation Expected (Not a motivation) Expected (Motivation) P Value 5 36 20.5 20.28936E-06 Ideological Alignment 22 19 20.67 13.5 0.67 1.
5 0.5 9.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. 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
5.5 10.5 10.256764552
5 8.5 9.5 7.5 17 0.5 18.5
5 5.5 0.5 17
5 8. ideological.5 18.5 14 16.5 14 16.5
5 5.5 7.
Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Overall Leadership Performance (pre-post)
9 5 -1.0562 22 365.Table 4: Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test (Strength of operational.1425 -1.3269
Paired Sign Test for Ideological Leadership Performance (pre-post)
19 6 16 0.422 0. ideological. 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 0.359 0.0146
Paired Sign Test for Logistic Leadership Performance (pre-post)
10 16 15 0.1549 -1.0501
.614 10 162.2
Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Ideological Leadership Performance (pre-post)
16 3 -1.477 0.0577 -1.91 0.3269
Paired Sign Test for Overall Leadership Performance (prepost)
10 22 9 0.161 16 229 14.382 0.1742 -1.421 6 108 18
Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Logistic Leadership Performance (pre-post)
15 2 -1.313 10 122 12.1269 19 217 11.5 16.5 16.5 14.526 0.469 10 119. 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 -1.466 0.25
# Ranks <0
# of Ranks >0
Table 5: Paired Sign Test (Strength of operational.898 0.1397 16 231. ideological.5 11.
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
Score Difference (Post-Pre)
15 Improved Declined 10
0 Operational Ideologigcal Logistic Total