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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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. Based on this analysis. this paper offers some broad recommendations regarding the future conduct of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). 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. However. shared visions become essential. 4 .Abstract: Al Qa’ida has allied with indigenous terrorist groups for over a decade. only in recent years. The conclusion of this paper finds that while opportunistic. after these affiliations occur. has Osama Bin Laden increasingly relied upon these franchises to prosecute his panIslamic struggle. The local jihadist leaders who become Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers ensure ideological alignment with Al Qa’ida. rather than ideological concerns are the primary motivating factors for joining Al Qa’ida.

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

Al Qa’ida was a relatively centralized organization that used Afghanistan as a base from which to strategize. In contrast. Al Qa’ida utilizes a mix of both loose and tight coupling to attain a remarkable degree of adaptability.Stern 2003). Dishman 2005). 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. An organization characterized by “loose coupling” has cells that are relatively autonomous and independent. Gunaratna 2004). Al Qa’ida’s structure and degree of centralization may fluctuate within a period of months or weeks. Although most scholars perceive Al Qa’ida as an organization in stasis. One can 6 . Al Qa’ida has transformed into a more ambiguous entity that scholars cannot easily define. A few dominant camps have emerged within this scholarly debate. communicate often. 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. 2001 attacks. While each perspective has its merits. Currently. However. Thus. since the onset of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). an organization characterized by “tight coupling” includes cells that associate intimately. and to dispatch operatives worldwide. Ronfeldt 2005. to plan attacks.Chapter 1: Building a Complex Organization Prior to the September 11. all oversimplify the command configuration utilized by Al Qa’ida. and depend upon each other. most fail to assess the exchange relationships that distinguish Al Qa’ida. 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. Moreover. 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.

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

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

Once a specific operation was decided upon. 2001 attacks against the United States (Bergen 2002). Afghanistan’s lack of central government provided Bin Laden with greater leeway to pursue his agenda and centralize his operations.Qa’ida’s actions and operations within the theological parameters of Al Qa’ida model of Islam. Al Qa’ida’s former propaganda chief. the last emir of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. the Pentagon. although Al Qa’ida also assisted two other Salafi terrorist groups during this formative period in the Sudan. it would be assigned to a carefully selected cell headed by a senior Al Qa’ida operative who reported personally to Bin Laden (Wright 2007). Bin Laden left the Sudan to return to Afghanistan as a result of combined pressure from the United States. The September 11. Egypt. in its earlier incarnation. Bin Laden cemented his ties to Ayman Zawahiri. Finally. 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. and Libya. Bin Laden personally recruited the plot’s 9 . hatched the plan to target the Twin Towers. and the Capitol Building. Al Qa’ida could be classified as a centralized organization. all three of which faced indigenous terrorist groups supported by Bin Laden. 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). Thus. 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. other western governments. Saudi Arabia. 2001 attacks reveal the former nature of Al Qa’ida’s decision-making apparatus. Moreover. In May 1997. In May 1996. 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. Bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

These arrests led to subsequent arrests of other senior officers.tactical leader. many Al Qa’ida leaders were imprisoned. While they operated in support of centralized directives. Mullah Omar in the preparation (Riedel 2008). Additionally. When operations are so decentralized. individual cells. Prior to 9/11. they established their own individual plans (Felter et al. From this point forward. networked terrorist organizations would be less vulnerable to traditional counterterrorism measures used by hierarchically organized security forces. were instructed to develop their own organizational structures. detached from Al Qa’ida Central Command and other cells. it becomes particularly difficult to maintain 10 . Nevertheless. for instance. Although Bin Laden and Al Qa’ida considered 9/11 an astonishing success. Al Qa’ida was a centralized organization. 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. 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. After the first year of the GWOT and the ouster of the Taliban from Afghanistan. 2006). the attacks precipitated the Global War on Terror (GWOT). he engaged the Taliban and its leader. Al Qa’ida soon learned that there are limitations to a strictly decentralized structure. composed of less than ten operatives. Mohammed Atta as well as the fifteen operatives who would intimidate the passengers during the airline hijackings. The shura concluded that a decentralized. 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. he personally handled other elements of the conspiracy.

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

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

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. Moreover. Al Qa’ida theorist Abu Musab al-Suri noted the importance of a highly trained cadre of senior commanding officers. However. or collaborates with a local jihadist groups. Perkins. partners. Brachman. Bramlett. 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. interactive communication 13 . 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. Previously. and Fishman 2006). now when Al Qa’ida merges. III. 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. The Role of “Mergers and Acquisitions:” By affiliating with local jihadist movements. Bin Laden did not seek to exert strategic or operational control over the leaders of its regionally based affiliates. Communication frequency.determine if Al Qa’ida assumed this structure by conscious design or coincidence. they can build differentiated relationships with their rapports rather than espousing an “average” leadership style. these commanding officers are effective because they can develop mature relationships with their operatives. Since they are already closely coupled to their agents. 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. Al Qa’ida has achieved an optimal combination of coupling.

patterns. Moreover. these new. which can be tracked by counterterrorist forces. 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. Jarrett Brachman. relying on lower-level operatives (who are often less committed. Bramlett. Perkins. 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. Thus. decision influence. since the most devoted operatives are obliged to engage in riskier or inherently fatal assignments) is a more hazardous strategy (Felter. and Fishman 2006). their performance. leader-member value agreement. The moderate coupling between Al Qa’ida Central Command and local leaders is essential to the performance of the organization. 14 . subordinate loyalty. Moreover. Because affiliations are often preceded by several months of bargaining and negotiations. Commanding officers now serve an important role as interlocutors with Al Qa’ida Central Command. Local leaders can also effectively monitor operative’s personal and social network. 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). and their overall unit performance improves (Graen and Uhl-Bien 1995). 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. Al Qa’ida can ensure that strategic and tactical differences between it and its commanding officers are reconciled. 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.

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

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


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

He avers that Al Qa’ida offers these franchises few benefits. Desouza and Hengsen provide the most comprehensive analysis of Al Qa’ida’s collaborative activities.Fishman is less worried about Al Qa’ida franchises than other scholars. including “licensing agreements. Finally.” whereby Al Qa’ida allows other groups to use its facilities. they do not reveal why local jihadist groups choose to align with Al Qa’ida. or personnel for a specific purpose and duration and “minority equity investments. offering only its name. they describe mergers and acquisitions. Literature on Incentives for Joining Radical Movements A. 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. II. Ideological motivations While these studies analyze Al Qa’ida’s strategy and explain why Al Qa’ida has pursued such arrangements. 20 . whereby Al Qa’ida combines with or subsumes another organization. Many groups that merge or partner with Al Qa’ida adhere to a program based on the ethnic. reputation. and ideology. He contends that Al Qa’ida’s franchises are likely to commit rash. strategic mistakes and are more susceptible to counterterrorism offensives than their mother organization. equipment. 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).” whereby Al Qa’ida finances terrorist groups with the intention of influencing their strategic activity. 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). They analyze several possible arrangements.

Based on her interpretation. Upon allying with Al Qa’ida. 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. many groups grapple with contradictions between national and supranational aims. and Weeding validate this line of thought. She maintains that political organizations often orient their ideology to support recruitment. enemies and allies are described in different terms at different times (Della Porta 1995). Consequently. Unfortunately. Like Stern. In fact.sectarian. and state boundaries in which they arose. 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. Jones. linguistic. 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. She observes that the attention groups pay to adjusting their ideology to circumstance is revealed when they explain and justify their strategies. Della Porta suggests that individuals are persuaded to enlist in underground organizations when they are enticed by its ideology. Al Qa’ida can co-opt local struggles into an evolving network of worldwide jihad by asserting its dedication to an international agenda. they must forsake their indigenous agendas to support the global pan-Islamic movement. Smith. it is a tool for enlarging the potential supporters of the organization. They contend that Al 21 . 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. Consequently. They observe that although Al Qa’ida was initially devoted to fighting the Soviet forces it now espouses more internationalist objectives.

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

C. 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. Although his research was biased towards leaders who have come to the public attention. Strategic/opportunistic motivations Alternatively. 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. Several academics believe that terrorist action derives from a conscious. calculated decision to execute a particular type of action. Sagemen found no evidence of pathological narcissism or paranoid personality disorder amongst those who he surveyed. terrorist leaders may have opportunistic motives for securing a spot under Al Qa’ida’s umbrella. and Weinberg 2003). These participants in jihad grew up with strong positive values of religion. On the contrary. Jemaah Islamiyah. which they perceive to be the optimum strategy to accomplish a sociopolitical goal. rational. Each mode of operation has a per-unit price that 23 . Sageman compiled data from public sources on 172 individuals who he identified as members of a global Salafi mujahedeen. and Al Qa’ida. He sample included expatriate leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group. He observed that members of terrorist organizations were generally middle-class. spirituality and concern for their communities. 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). Understanding Terror Network is particularly revealing. Moreover. members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Perliger. Marc Sageman’s book. educated young men from caring and religious families.

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


Chapter 3: Methodology Al Qa’ida has clearly transformed and evolved in ways described in the introduction. By depending upon its commanding officers (the former leaders of local jihadist groups). During negotiations between Al Qa’ida and 28 . In order to understand why Al Qa’ida is such a forceful and resilient organization. As centralized communication nodes within their system. In fact. who serve as Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. Moreover. 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. 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. Osama bin Laden. I. recently. moderately coupled network of individuals united by a common need and ultimately aligned behind an emergent leader. remains an important security threat. 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. conducted by operatives capable of inflicting maximum civilian and economic damages on both local and distant targets in pursuit of their extremist goals. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are held responsible for its success or failure in their region. Al Qa’ida has become a flexible. Al Qaida’s ability to mete out devastating destruction worldwide has increased as cells have become progressively armed with modern technology. Its terrorist activity. As such. Currently. Background: The introductory chapter explained how and why Al Qa’ida relies extensively upon the leaders of regionally focused groups. we must understand the strength that resides in its leaders.

Negotiations are often lengthy processes. Just as managers from the corporate arena trying to integrate newly acquired companies and divisions. involving discussions regarding financial and capital resources and tactics. Unfortunately. motivations. The surveys reviewed. it will contribute to the bank of information and stimulate vital discourse on the composition and function of Al Qa’ida today.the potential affiliate. 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. plan ahead. The previous chapter revealed that literature on the role of leadership in terror networks has remained limited in scope. 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. Thus. so too must the commanding officers that merge their organization with Al Qa’ida prepare accordingly (Marion and Uhl-Bien 2006). which consider categories of influence factors and their effect on an individual’s decision to join an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization. or credentials of these officials. 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. Finally. because academic studies to date have not focused on Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. This study is the first to comprehensively examine Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers. focusing primarily on principals like Osama bin Laden. communicate often and address everyone involved in the deal. little is known about the characters. researchers have overlooked them. commanding officers are influential arbitrators. I theorized that by examining the demographic characteristics of Al 29 . they help stimulate interdependency and interaction among their units and other branches of Al Qa’ida.

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

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


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


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


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

some data that suggested that the group had experienced minor setbacks. Al Qa’ida strongly opposes Western influences and ideologies that it perceives as “un-Islamic. the UK’s security intelligence agency. I considered the assessment of Al Qa’ida’s ideology published by MI5. To assess H21 (Al Qa’ida commanding officers were inspired by Al Qa’ida’s ideology). More information on statistical hypothesis testing follows in the chapter on data analysis and results. To perform this appraisal. To execute this assessment. Al Qa’ida’s supports a narrow interpretation of Sunnism. pan-Islamic. (Al Qa’ida is anti-Shia) (Al Qaida's Ideology) Thus. I determined that opportunism was the secondary motivation for merging with Al Qa’ida (coded as 1). (Al Qa’ida is a pan-Islamic organization) 3) Al Qa’ida promotes violence against other Muslim denominations as well as nonMuslims. and statements. I considered the leader’s prior involvement in Islamic societies. I relied predominantly upon newspaper articles published in both the domestic and international 34 . to evaluate H21. religious education. According to MI5. 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. the largest denomination and is violently opposed to other Islamic denominations that it regards as “infidel.” most notably Shiite sects. I determined if the local jihadist leaders who affiliated with Al Qa’ida espoused anti-Western. 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. 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. or anti-Shia agendas.

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

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

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

Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly ideological role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida. They have military experience or formation and/or expertise in weapons or explosives. Operational commanders are primarily responsible for conducting operations (including “spectacular attacks”). Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly logistical role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida H32. I posited that Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers would fall into one of three primary leadership categories after the affiliation occurred: operational. They 38 . Logistical leaders are accountable for the administrative and financial activities of their units. Finally. or legal expertise. developing military tactics. or ideological. Consequently. or foreign language competencies. III. 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?). They direct the group’s bureaucratic development and organize recruitment drives. financial. I developed another three hypothesis: H12. I considered social network affiliation to be a secondary motivation rather than a primary motivation.Unless the local jihadist leader was clearly not incentivized by opportunism or ideological concerns. and running training camps. They have vocational. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers play an increasingly operational role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida H22. 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. logistical.

I assessed the commanding officer’s operational. I compared leadership performance pre. If the leader demonstrated at least two of the factors in the operational leadership category. this estimation would have been biases. published books or articles. Instead.and post-merger. 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. and released audio or videotapes. and ideological leadership abilities before and after the merger. I coded him as a strong operational leader (3). I coded him as an average operational leader 39 . I did not compare leadership performance across categories because different measures were used to evaluate leadership faculty for each category. Thus. logistic. To determine the role played by the commanding officer. If he demonstrated one of the factors in this category.have granted interviews.

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

To qualify as a strong affiliation. perhaps by providing access to operatives. or opportunities for training. 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. or logisticians. Finally. but did not actively conduct operations outside their region nor did they contribute to Al Qa’ida’s other initiatives in any meaningful way. and media specialists. a strong affiliation (partnership). Leaders who head front organizations for Al Qa’ida do not make a pre-meditated choice to cooperate with Al Qa’ida. for example by contributing to its recruitment efforts or operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. or a weak affiliation (collaboration).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. contact with its network of financiers. In return. informants. To qualify as a merger. Those groups that I coded as weak affiliates received financing or training from Al Qa’ida. I separately examined al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya 41 . 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. 3) While not grounds for immediate disqualification. whereby they supported Al Qa’ida. the group must have formally announced that this arrangement existed through a communiqué broadcast to a wide audience. I determined that twenty-one groups conformed to these the above standards. intelligence. I coded each affiliation as a merger. the organization must have developed a symbiotic relationship with Al Qa’ida. assets. thereby potentially compromising their local agenda. After performing this assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

where he was warmly welcomed by Hassan al-Turabi. oil rich state of Kuwait on August 1. Bin Laden organized training camps at which hundred of his followers were tutored in paramilitary tactics as revealed in the previous chapter. when one considers the historical context. Bin Laden had the opportunity to interact with other terrorist units to expand Al Qa’ida’s reach. Al Qa’ida linked up with Al-Ittihaad al-Islami (AIAI) and Abu Sayyaf. tired of Bin Laden’s critiques. thereby threatening the security of Saudi Arabia. the first US troops were dispatched to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield. Kashmir and Iraq. 47 . For Bin Laden. However. This relationship strengthened throughout the nineties. 1990. Somalia. Yemen. While Bin Laden was situated in the Sudan. As a result of the Sudanese government’s hospitality and support. Chechnya. 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. 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. Afghanistan. Al Qa’ida first seriously affiliated with other terrorist organizations in 1991. After the Saudi government. Turabi and Bin Laden engaged in a convenient symbiotic relationship. during his time in the Sudan. After Hussein’s forces invaded the small. Algeria. he departed for the Sudan. effectively put him under house arrest. Eritrea. These operatives also offered advice to their Somali counterparts on how to set up social services for the local population. Tajikistan. the leader of the National Islamic Front. this was as perturbing and foreboding an event as the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that had occurred a decade earlier. Bin Laden perceived this intrusion as part of a larger Western design to dominate the whole Arab and Muslim world. Bin Laden could operate freely in the Sudan and in return he would invest millions of dollars in the desperately poor country. In this year. Consequently. for terrorist groups operating in such diverse places as the Philippines. 1990. On August 7.

Instead. While occupied with these financial negotiations. After associating with these groups. if successful. including some of his brothers. 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. he persuaded his brother in law. Bin Laden focused his efforts on other missions like determining how best to attack US forces in Somalia. Moreover a number of ASG members had fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s (Rogers 2004). By 1991. the US military. Muhammad Jamal Khalifah to support the Abu Sayyaf Group. while residing in the Sudan. my data indicates that Al Qa’ida did not engage another affiliate until 1996. their parent organization. would next march into Southern Sudan and then into other Islamic countries(Gunaratna 2002). where their transactions would go unnoticed and in its infrastructure projects. From 1991 to 1996. Bin Laden exploited a cache of trustworthy warriors who he could rely upon to cultivate his vision of global jihad. many of whom would be employed by these Arabic executives. he attempted to centralize the core of Al Qa’ida’s operations and develop its human resources as discussed in Chapter 1. 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. between a thousand and two thousand 48 . Soon thereafter. Concurrently. he broadcast a fatwa in which he avowed that having already taken over the Persian Gulf area and now encroaching upon Somalia. Bin Laden convinced several Saudi businessmen. to invest in the country’s moribund financial institutions. Moreover.Bin Laden ramped up his assistance to the Somali terrorists after the Bush administration sent US peacekeeping troops to Somalia in 2002. which sought to pursue a more fundamentalist battle against the Philippine authorities than the Moro National Liberation Front. Thus.

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

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

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

in 2004. Israel. However.Moreover. including Shias. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. terror attacks 52 . for establishing a post-US Islamist emirate governed by a coalition of Islamic groups. 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. and Egypt (Michael 2007). 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. In fact. who had become Bin Laden’s second-in command. Nowadays. prior to 2005. in a letter dated July 9. Additionally. beheading of hostages. Ayman Zawahiri. For example. Lebanon. For instance. 2005. For instance. Bruce Hoffman has suggested that for Al Qa’ida. Zawahiri reprimanded al-Zarqawi for indiscriminate attacks on Shias. and lack of concern for public support. 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. 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). the leader of Tawhid. and for maintaining the momentum of an Islamist victory by expanding operations into Syria. Jordan. was responsible for developing his own strategy and operations. Moreover. he urged Zarqawi to prepare for a precipitous American military withdrawal from Iraq. began to instruct Zarqawi regarding tactics and specific theater-of-war concerns. Bin Laden and Al Qa’ida Central Command relied more heavily and interacted more frequently with the leaders of these groups. “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. Al Qa’ida has exploited the Iraqi occupation for rousing propaganda and as a recruitment tool for the global jihadist cause. who had become his commanding officers.

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

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

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

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

the highest order form of equity-based engagement. Although this type of arrangement allows Al Qa’ida and the merged group to consolidate their assets so that they can compete more successfully. causes havoc. Through partnership and collaborations. the relationships between cells and between operatives in Al Qa’ida central command are loosely coupled. The preponderance of affiliations (over 70%) could be classified as partnerships or collaborations. the group that Al Qa’ida subsumes must be capable of completely integrating Al Qa’ida’s methods and approaches into their repertoire. it is difficult to cut off centralized funding due to the complex nature of Al Qa’ida’s financial network. Mergers were much less common (approximately 17%). When a group merges with Al Qa’ida. Although such groups have since become a major political force in recent years. and many of their leaders were imprisoned. mergers. Al Qa’ida achieves the ideal mix of tightly and loosely coupled systems. were much less common. Through partnerships and collaborations. they forfeit a degree of control. described in the first chapter. Al Qa’ida’s Affiliates: Mergers? Partnerships? Or Collaborations? Finally it is important to consider distribution by type of affiliation (Figure 3). By contrast. While the relationships within the cells are tightly coupled. more extremist forms of Islamism still remain at the fringes (Gershman 2002). 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. and distracts the enemy while Central Command plans for more detailed attacks elsewhere. III. Additionally. Al Qaida can provide financial or logistic support to other terrorist groups with the intention of influencing their strategic activities. Supporting local terrorist groups in this manner makes noise.banned from the 1950s to the 1980s. While Al 57 . Both partnerships and collaborations permit Al Qa’ida to structure itself as a complex organization.

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

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

146E-09. All three statistics are significant with a p-value less than 0.” and "social network affiliations. ideological alignment. To assess the effects of motivational factors contributing to individual terrorist's decision to affiliate with Al Qa’ida. one can conclude that opportunistic motives. The chi-squared test yielded pvalues of 1. although the smaller values of p for “opportunistic motives” and for “social network affiliation” suggest that these incentives are more robust. Statistically significant differences among subjects were evaluated using a chi-squared test statistic for variation within each scale. and 1. corresponding to 0= not a motivation. thus.0188. 1= secondary motivation. 2 = primary motivation (for a more detailed explanation regarding coding. The null hypothesis tested for each scale was that there was no difference in the frequency of incidence of each level of motational factor. 60 . and social network affiliation all motivate local jihadist leaders to an extent.Chapter 5: Results of Statistical Hypothesis Testing I. the null hypothesis was rejected. when three scales were used.” Each subject was rated 0-2 for each scale.” “ideological alignment.05. in each case. please refer to Chapter 3 on Methodology). 0. Data Analysis and Results for Q1: What motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida’s and its pan-Islamic agenda? Data were collected on 41 individual subjects (i. Based on this analysis. This analysis yielded the results contained in Table 1.606E-06 for “opportunistic motives.” and “social network affiliation” respectively. ideological alignment appears to be of less powerful significance as a motivating factor for local jihadist leaders.e.” "ideological alignment. each subject was rated on one of three scales: "opportunist motives. By comparison. known or suspected terrorists).

Based on this analysis. 0. and 0. It is of note that the statistical significance for social network affiliation is far less impressive than that for opportunistic motives. was that there was no difference in the frequency of incidence of each level of motivational factor. In contrast. H21 (Al Qa’ida commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to ideological motives) is rejected. This implies that opportunism is the primary motivation among the variables considered in this study for affiliating with Al Qa’ida. The p-value associated with social network affiliation also allows us to reject the null hypothesis.” “ideological alignment.” The null hypothesis. The p-values associated with the chi-squared test statistic were 1. tested for both scales. This analysis produced the results recorded in Table 2.289E-06. H11 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due to opportunistic motives) is proven. 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 . II. social affiliations) have some influence on the decision to associate with Al Qa’ida.To supplement this analysis and clarify the relative impact of each incentive. The p-value for opportunistic motives permits us to reject the null hypothesis of no effect.” and “social network affiliation” respectively. the data suggests that psychosocial motive(i.042 for “opportunistic motives. scores 0 and 1 were combined into a single scale "not a motivation.639. thereby suggesting that this particular factor is not a significant motivating variable for local jihadist leaders in this sample. However.” while score 2 was considered as "motivation. the effect of ideological alignment does not even reach statistical significance. H31 ( Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers associated with Al Qa’ida due psychosocial motives) requires further investigation.e.

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

demonstrates that each group had a similar number of “no change” results (i. 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. a pre-post score of 0). the variability among subjects in the magnitude of the changes may have affected the results. However. whether they were categorized as only positive or positive plus no change. Generally.The results obtained through the paired sign test suggest that the direction of the change for ideological performance was significant. after mergers with Al Qa’ida occur. 63 . 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). ideological performance improved. and these swamped the overall effect. a plot of the distribution of scores. this was clearly most prevalent and only statistically significant for the ideology category. Figure 6. The operational category had the largest number of “-3” results and “+3” results.e. there was a tendency to improve scores post-merger. Moreover. however. there were a few changes in the opposite direction in particular subjects that were large. however. for the ideological performance. for all three categories. there were the fewest number of negative changes post-merger. thereby hindering us from rejecting the null hypothesis using the Wilcoxon statistic. Moreover. most changes were positive. This analysis allows us to accept H32 (Al Qa’ida’s commanding officer play an increasingly ideological role after affiliating with Al Qa’ida). Figures 4-5 demonstrate that for ideological performance. Most frequently. shared ideological views become important.

2006. Algeria achieved independence from France in 1962. the only remaining armed terrorist group in Algeria. Three months later.Chapter 6: Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb and Abdelmalek Droukdal – A Well Executed Merger On September 11. However. He then adopted an 64 . I. 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). 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. However. Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb was born. less powerful Algerian indigenous assembly of terrorists would not have been possible without the leadership of Abdelmalek Droukdal. the Islamic movement in Algeria originated in the 1960s. whereupon Ahmed Ben Bella was elected the first president of Algeria. 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. Defense Minister Houari Boumedienne staged a bloodless coup to remove Ben Bella from power. to Al Qa’ida. While the first official communiqué of the GSPC appeared in September 1998. in 1965. After the merger of the GSPC with 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. this metamorphosis of a relatively smaller. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. 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.

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

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

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

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

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. 2001 attacks were another defining moment for the GSPC. The GSPC denied involvement. Fifteen days after the attacks. on September 26. which resulted in the demobilization of hundreds of militants from both the GIA and the GSPC. Members of this organization realized that a merger with Al Qa’ida could have both political and financial benefits to GSPC (Guidère 2007). the probability of defection reached a high of 60 percent during the Civil Concord period (Gyves and Wyckloff 2006).” This 69 . Due to this amnesty program. reasserting their dedication to avoiding civilian atrocities. They were devoted to regime change and preferred not to actively support the “Muslim brothers. 2001. certain members of the GSPC dissented. They suggested that courting Al Qa’ida would enable the organization to maintain its relevancy and shore up declining recruitment. the GSPC’s operational reach diminished. This became a point of friction between Hattab and the younger members of the GSPC and two dominant camps emerged within the organization. However. 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.percent before the implementation of the law. 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. and 9 were injured in a massacre that occurred in the Algerian town of Al-Abri. It was thus effectively limited in scope by the Algerian government. The September 11.

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

Soon thereafter. the 2nd anniversary of September 11. in fact be absorbed into the GSPC’s domestic campaign. On September 2003. When the shura of the GSPC voted to actively support the “Iraqi brothers. 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. 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. the old guard members who espoused a nationalist orientation were expelled from the GSPC (Guidère 2007). Abou Ibrahim Mustapha. he fostered pan-Islamic solidarity and internationalism in order to reestablish a sense of unity amongst GSPC operatives. VI.focus on preserving the honor of the Iraqis. but who would. 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. Although he wanted to eventually establish his group as some sort of training authority. Finally. 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. 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). He continued to make entreaties to Al Qa’ida. for instance. he did not yet possess an adequate network of fighters. However.” Hassan was obliged to resign. sought to actively support the Iraqi insurgents in order to gain credibility for the GSPC. he issued a communiqué of support for Al Qa'ida in which he criticized Hattab’s position and extolled bin Laden. The Rise of Droukdal 71 . who succeeded Hattab in 2003. Nevertheless.

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

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

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

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

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

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

For instance. however. In changing the name of the GSPC to Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb. nine of whom were wounded. a joint venture between a Halliburton subsidiary. a few recent attacks indicate otherwise. and the Algerian stateowned oil company. Sonatrach. AQIM conducted an attack against a bus transporting employees from Brown & Root-Condor. he wanted to highlight its role in global jihad. Al Qa’ida in the Maghreb (AQIM). IX. 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). Droukdal and his operatives began to target foreigners who continued to support secular regimes and proselytize their culture (specifically the United States. The bomb attack killed an Algerian driver in a convoy transporting the workers. Moreover. Spain. Some scholars have suggested that AQIM remains sharply focused on its Kabylia strongholds despite Droukdals’s global rhetoric (Filiu 2009). Droukdal expressed concern about projecting a certain image of his organization to his base as well as the international community. it was now time for him to change the name of his organization. and France). Droukdal issued another claim in which he suggested that after pledging allegiance to Islam and demonstrating his faith in Bin Laden. He expressed confidence in the specific competencies and ideological underpinning of Al Qa’ida’s leadership. A New Organization In the months after the name change. thereby easing the qualms of his subordinates (Guidère 2007). in December 2006. This change would demonstrate the solidarity of Al Qa’ida and the GSPC. KBR. including 78 .sentiment that Al Qa’ida was the only group that could unite all Islamic combatants and steer the battle against the Coalition forces. in an elaborate roadside bombing. Approximately six months later.

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

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

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

ready-made networks that could be internationalized. A current of cultural Islamization was created that has increased Al Qa’ida’s attraction. Thus. 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. 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. 82 . Al Qa’ida’s global ideology intersected with local anger directed at the undemocratic regime would encourage jihadists’ activity in the Maghreb. He saw clearly an opportunity for synergy. Having formulated an appropriate ideological stance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the analysis of Al Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb provides an example of an intelligent and shrewd local jihadist leader. while social bonds facilitated the process of affiliating (i. I posed the question: what motivates local jihadist leaders to affiliate with Al Qa’ida? I hypothesized that opportunism. Consequently. it is necessary to examine the staff that operates at each level of the hierarchy within the system. interventions may need to be focused at understanding and disrupting Al Qa’ida’s mid-level management. ideology. broad-based Al Qa’ida network augmented by affiliations with various groups has durability that will surpass his mortality. 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. the commanding officers that direct Al Qa’ida’s affiliates. like Osama bin Laden or Ayman Zawahiri or to concentrate on the suicide bombers who conduct operations. It is naïve to focus on chief executives. The data collected in this survey and analysis of Al Qa’ida’s leadership has significantly demonstrated that leaders were strongly incentivized by opportunism. In the first chapters. 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). Moreover. or social bonds could motivate local jihadist leaders to enroll in Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. his loosely affiliated. social bonds served as a “permissive factor”).Chapter 8: Conclusion and Discussion – Al Qa’ida’s Commanding Officers: A Skilled Management Team To understand terrorist organizations. While Osama bin Laden’s capture or death would be an important psychological blow to those vested in his invincibility. 93 .e.

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

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

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

tyrants gained dominance over the Muslims in every aspect and every land”(Calvert 2004). Thus. etc. helped Jemaah Islamiyah plan and execute the 2002 Bali bombing that killed more than 2000 people (Abuza 2003). Al Qa’ida established numerous local military training facilities in Mindanao and Indonesia in the last two decades.and forced to the ground with black sacks over their faces. 97 . 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. For example. Riduan Isamuddin. Al Qa’ida can help groups conduct attacks. indoctrinated. It can also offer groups information on the government. Such emotional narratives highlight the theme of humiliation at the hand of callous and arrogant Western powers(Hafez 2007). physical environment. According to several reports. Finally. it effectively encourages redemption through faith and sacrifice. Moreover. nature of the military and intelligence services. 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 weapons. 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. financial services. Because of that. Ansar al-Islam was started with $300.000 to $600. both alumni of the Afghan jihad. equipment.000 of Al Qa’ida seed money (Ward 2005). Al Qa’ida can offer groups financial resources. and mentored. For instance. known as Muklhas. even death. due to its exceptional intelligence-gathering skills. known as Hambali and Ali Gufron. Al Qa’ida’s veterans can offer groups tactical and strategic advice. Al Qa’ida is infamous for providing terrorist training and for establishing sites and camps where recruits are educated.

Efforts should ensure that the necessary resources (both human and 98 . Since Al Qa’ida provides local jihadist group leaders with numerous opportunities to stimulate and expand their organizations. local jihadist group leaders are positioned to seek assistance from their colleagues when decline within their own organizations seems imminent. thereby making such affiliations more problematic and risky. strategies should be developed to isolate these groups from Al Qa’ida.Conducting attacks connotes a high degree of devotion and strength to potential recruits. 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. martyrdom operations not only produce spectacular incidents of large-scale destruction. just as a conventional military organization might glamorize its heroes to inspire others to volunteer for field military actions. 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). rather than abandon their mission. social networks can be thought of as a stipulation that pre-structures and facilitates the merger process. Due to these associations. and because such affiliations are not difficult to initiate due to the existence of prior social connections. demonstrate that the organization has a loyal and impassioned following. Also. 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. Instead. Suicide attacks. it may be futile for counterterrorist forces to discourage local jihadist group leaders from soliciting Al Qa’ida. By joining Al Qa’ida. but also create and promote “heroes” that represent the organization. While not a precipitant cause for an affiliation. Moreover. in particular.

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

it appears that most leaders took on an increasingly ideological role after the merger. These predictive models could be used in order to develop strategies for a pre-emptive counter-response. granted more interviews. One impressive program was the East Africa Counter Terrorism Initiative. The second question that I sought to answer involved the type of role local jihadist leaders played within Al Qa’ida. 100 . Future research will center on the development of predictive models based on emerging patterns among terrorist groups that align with Al Qa’ida. While there were no significant patterns in the data on the operational and logistic role of the leaders profiled. For example. and aviation security capacity (Kagwanja 2006). 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. After the merger. The United States can provide assistance to foreign governments to enhance operational capacity to tighten border controls. police training. etc. the leaders issued more communiqués. 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. gave more speeches. I considered leadership roles before and after the affiliation to uncover trends. counterterrorist forces can better undermine these leaders. By understanding what function local jihadist leaders play.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. 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.

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

and spin. culture shock is inevitable. rhetoric. Moreover. 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). speeches. 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 which they clarify their vision. due to their close relationship with operatives. rather than using an average leadership style. When a group first affiliates with Al Qa’ida. For instance. In addition to accepting Al Qa’ida’s pan-Islamic program. In doing so.rapports. Due to such high quality leader-member exchange. followers are encouraged to take personal initiative and exercise personal leadership to make their unit more effective. Because they know their audience well. When the security situation does not permit direct communications. as Droukdal did on numerous occasions. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers can ground their message in the narrative elements most likely to resonate with this target group. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers correspond with their cohorts through communiqués. Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers can convince their operatives to integrate their previous regional ambitions with a wider transnational Islamic agenda. Like Al 102 . they can apply effective message management. operatives must also integrate new tactics and strategies into their repertoire. and interviews. Based on these motivational communications. the GSPC was encouraged to engage in suicide and arson attacks(Guidère 2007). 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. Thus. through their ideological operations.

They commence with disbelief and denial and pass into anger and then rage and resentment. often accompanied by frustration and depression. For Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers and corporate transition managers. mergers represent sudden.Qa’ida’s commanding officers. Soon after the GSPC announced its merger with Al Qa’ida. Helen Kubler-Ross’s four stages of bereavement or 103 . 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. This can only be achieved by providing ideological guidance through leadermember exchanges and through public communications and appearances. Employees’ reactions most often pass through four distinct stages. Although some of the groups that Al Qa’ida merges with have less than five hundred operatives. Droukdal issued a communiqué explaining and justifying this repositioning. the burden of responsibility still rests on the commanding officers to assuage their followers after the affiliation with Al Qa’ida commences. shared vision of future organizational arrangements (Marks and Mirvis 2000). 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. transition mangers assume full-time responsibility and accountability for making integration work.” For example. major change and generate a great deal of uncertainty due to the fact that organizational cultures are underpinned by deep assumptions that are constant. finally acceptance occurs. When corporate mergers occur. and shared. a corporation may encourage teamwork while the venture it subsumes may be more oriented towards individual initiatives. one of the most common difficulties that arise during the merger is “cultural differences. These are identical to Dr. In addition. next emotional bargaining begins. transition managers must make the case for integration to large numbers of employees. patterned.

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

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

the government should continue to capture Al Qa’ida news and production staff. Salafi and Islamist communities in London have consistently demonstrated skill. 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. and a war with no truce” (Payne 2009). This study indicates that Al Qa’ida’s commanding officers are playing an increasingly ideological role. 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).instance. a struggle for survival. The leaders of the Western world should follow suit. 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. Our government should also realize this truism. Moreover. 106 . 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 115 .

” The Washington Post: A01. Multinational Force . Mariam. Ned.” The Washington Post: A22. 2008. “ and Jonathan Finer. and Mark Mazzetti. Available at: http://www. New York: Free Press. Available at: http://www.” Operation Iraq Freedom: Official Website of the Multi-National Force .02. Available at: Bergen. “Masri Now Leads Iraq Al Qaeda.125.washingtonpost. “Shadowy Trail of al-Qaida in Iraq Leader. Gannon.” Backgrounder.132/search?q=cache:74UX2mQ_i-0J:www. MNF-I Press Brief – Operational Update .com/2007/WORLD/meast/07/18/iraq. “Insurgent Leader Al-Zarqawi Killed in Iraq. “Al Qaeda in Iraq Chooses Zarqawi Successor.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16576&Itemid=131 [Accessed January 2. Available at: [Accessed January 2. 2009]. Wolf. Knickmeyer. Zarqawi's Mysterious Successor (aka Abu Ayub al-Masri) . Available at: http://www.” CNN. 2009].aspx?briefingslideid=309 [Accessed January 2. and Rana Gargour-Sabbagh.mnfiraq. Jim. 2009]. 2006. 2009]. 2009]. “The Mysterious Heir to al-Zarqawi . 2007.” The Situation Room. Available at: http://www. 2006a. Peter L. Available at: [Accessed March 4. Paley. Available at: Kathy. Available at: Kevin. Knickmeyer. Smith.: Senior al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Held.defenselink. Eben. Kaplan. New Al-Qaida in Iraq Leader Reported . 2009]. 2009]. 2009].timesonline.pdf+khalid+almashadani&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=24&gl=us&client=firefox-a [Accessed January 2. Amit.S.cfr. and Ibon Villelabeitia. 2007. 2006. Department of [Accessed January 3. Department of Defense. 2009].” The Washington Post. 2007. 2007. Available at: http://transcripts.Iraq. 2006a. MSNBC. “Maliki Aide Who Discussed Amnesty Leaves Job.” New York Times.html [Accessed January 2. “President Links Qaeda of Iraq to Qaeda of 9/11.” Boston. [Accessed March 4. Rutenberg. Bergner. 116 .Appendix II: Sources by Terrorist Group Al-Qaeda Organization in the Land of the Two Rivers (formerly Jama'at alTawhid wal-Jihad) Benson. Ellen.msnbc. DoD News Available at: http://www. “Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. Coalition Officials Say. Available at: http://www.html [Accessed March 4. Pam.capture/index.45. 2009].html [Accessed March 3.cnn. Blitzer.Iraq.washingtonpost.” U. “Starr Reports Live from Ramadi Iraq.cnn. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq [Accessed March 4.” The Washington Post. Karouny. Ellen.S. 2006.cjtf7. 2009]. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq Leader May Be in Afghanistan.” The Times of London. 2007. 2009]. Available at: http://www. U. The Osama Bin Laden I Know. and Jonathan Gregory. Jim. 2009].com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/02/AR2007050202036.html [Accessed January 2. 2007.aspx?id=16029 [Accessed January 3.

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

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

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

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

67 13.639411853 Social Network Affiliation 14 27 20.14786E-09 11 8 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 0.042330234 139 .28936E-06 Ideological Alignment 22 19 20.67 0.67 1.67 1.5 1.67 13.67 13.5 20.67 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 13.5 20.018767854 27 0 13.67 13.67 13.5 20.5 0.

5 10. 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 5.262682055 P Value 140 .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.5 10.021962838 5 5.5 17 5 8.5 0.5 17 0.5 14 16.5 5.256764552 5 8.5 7. ideological.5 7.5 18.5 5 5.5 14 16.5 9.5 18.

ideological.91 0.466 0.422 0.5 16.161 16 229 14.25 # Ranks <0 # of Ranks >0 Table 5: Paired Sign Test (Strength of operational.614 10 162.382 0.1397 16 231.477 0.1425 -1.421 6 108 18 Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Logistic Leadership Performance (pre-post) 15 2 -1.0501 141 .5 14.Table 4: Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test (Strength of operational.898 0.313 10 122 12. 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 0.1269 19 217 11. ideological.3269 Paired Sign Test for Ideological Leadership Performance (pre-post) 19 6 16 0.1549 -1.3269 Paired Sign Test for Overall Leadership Performance (prepost) 10 22 9 0.0146 Paired Sign Test for Logistic Leadership Performance (pre-post) 10 16 15 0.359 0.469 10 119.5 11.5 16.0577 -1.2 Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Ideological Leadership Performance (pre-post) 16 3 -1.95 Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for Overall Leadership Performance (pre-post) 9 5 -1.0562 22 365.526 0. 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 -1.1742 -1.

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

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