Decoding Al Qaeda s Strategy

Author: Michael W. S. Ryan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231533276
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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By consulting the work of well-known and obscure al-Qaeda theoreticians, Michael W. S. Ryan finds jihadist terrorism strategy has more in common with the principles of Maoist guerrilla warfare than mainstream Islam. Encouraging strategists and researchers to devote greater attention to jihadi ideas rather than jihadist military operations, Ryan builds an effective framework for analyzing al-Qaeda’s plans against America and constructs a compelling counternarrative to the West’s supposed “war on Islam.” Ryan examines the Salafist roots of al-Qaeda ideology and the contributions of its most famous founders, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a political-military context. He also reads the Arabic-language works of lesser known theoreticians who have played an instrumental role in framing al-Qaeda’s so-called war of the oppressed. These authors readily cite the guerrilla strategies of Mao, Che Guevara, and the mastermind of the Vietnam War, General Giap. They also incorporate the arguments of American theorists writing on “fourth-generation warfare.” Through these texts, readers experience events as insiders see them, and by concentrating on the activities and pronouncements of al-Qaeda’s thought leaders, especially in Yemen, they discern the direct link between al-Qaeda’s tactics and trends in anti-U.S. terrorism. Ryan shows al-Qaeda’s political-military strategy to be a revolutionary and largely secular departure from the classic Muslim conception of jihad, adding invaluable dimensions to the operational, psychological, and informational strategies already deployed by America’s military in the region.

With Us and Against Us

Author: Stephen Tankel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023154734X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Counterterrorism requires working with partners that both help and hinder U.S. interests. Consider the United States’ post-9/11 partnership with Pakistan—on one hand, the country provided key counterterrorism cooperation in the War on Terror; at the same time, it remained a state sponsor of terrorism that supported multiple militant organizations, some of which had American blood on their hands. Nonetheless, cooperation with otherwise ‘unfriendly’ states is often unavoidable. With Us and Against Us examines how counterterrorism partnerships after 9/11 critically differ both from the ones that existed beforehand and from traditional alliances. Tankel posits that countries form effective alliances against a terror group when each party to the alliance perceives and prioritizes the threat posed by the group in the same way and does not view the group as vital to advancing its national interests. Focusing on U.S. partnerships with Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen against al-Qaeda, ISIS and other jihadist organizations, Tankel analyzes what the U.S. can expect from its counterterrorism partners depending on the country’s set of incentives, threat perceptions, and larger security paradigm. In mapping these partnerships, Tankel argues that although the end of the Cold War and then 9/11 transformed the U.S. security paradigm, the security paradigms of many partner nations in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia did not change nearly as dramatically. This concept should serve a lodestar when assessing the cooperation partners provide, as well as how these relationships might evolve as future terrorist threats emerge.

Nexus of Global Jihad

Author: Assaf Moghadam
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231538154
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Leading jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State dominate through cooperation in the form of knowledge sharing, resource sharing, joint training exercises, and operational collaboration. They build alliances and lesser partnerships with other formal and informal terrorist actors to recruit foreign fighters and spread their message worldwide, raising the aggregate threat level for their declared enemies. Whether they consist of friends or foes, whether they are connected locally or online, these networks create a wellspring of support for jihadist organizations that may fluctuate in strength or change in character but never runs dry. Nexus of Global Jihad identifies types of terrorist actors, the nature of their partnerships, and the environments in which they prosper to explain global jihadist terrorism’s ongoing success and resilience. Nexus of Global Jihad brings to light an emerging style of “networked cooperation” that works alongside interorganizational terrorist cooperation to establish bonds of varying depth and endurance. Case studies use recently declassified materials to illuminate al-Qaeda’s dealings from Iran to the Arabian Peninsula and the informal actors that power the global Sharia movement. Nexus of Global Jihad proposes policies that increase intelligence gathering on informal terrorist actors, constrain enabling environments, and disrupt terrorist networks according to different types of cooperation. It is a vital text for strategists and scholars struggling to understand a growing spectrum of terrorist groups working together more effectively than ever before.

Global Alert

Author: Boaz Ganor
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023153891X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Global Alert describes the motivations that lead to modern Islamist terrorism and the different stages in the execution of a terrorist attack. Challenging the certainty that liberal democratic values offer an antidote to radicalism, the book exposes the exploitation of democratic institutions by terrorists to further their goals and confronts the difficulty democracies face in fighting terrorism, especially when international humanitarian law does not account for nonstate actors in armed conflict. Global Alert especially focuses on the "hybrid terrorist organization" model, which calls for a new international doctrine to neutralize its threat.

Terrorism and Counterintelligence

Author: Blake W. Mobley
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231158769
Format: PDF, Docs
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Discussing the challenges terrorist groups face as they multiply and plot international attacks, while at the same time providing a framework for decoding the strengths and weaknesses of their counter-intelligence, Blake W. Mobley offers an indispensable text for the intelligence, military, homeland security, and law enforcement fields.

The Al Qaeda Doctrine

Author: Donald Holbrook
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1623566673
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Ever since it was first established, the senior leadership of Al-Qaeda has sought to communicate its core values, rationalizations, and principles to the world. Altogether, these statements convey Al-Qaeda's doctrine and the beliefs for which the leadership claims to be fighting. This volume in the New Directions in Terrorism Studies series analyzes over 250 statements made by the organization's two key leaders, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Usama Bin Ladin, over the last two decades. It provides an in-depth and systematic analysis of these communications, showing which key issues emphasized by the two leaders evolved over time and highlighting their core principles. It explore Al-Qaeda's problem diagnosis, the solutions offered by its two leaders, their escalating --although often contradictory-- approach towards violence, and their chosen communication strategy for different types of audiences. The book shows how Al-Qaeda's leadership began to develop an increasingly critical approach towards Islam in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and discusses tensions that may undermine the resilience of its doctrine. This unique evidence-based analysis of Al-Qaeda will attract academics specializing in terrorism and counterterrorism as well as the policy community.

The Undergraduate Research Handbook

Author: Gina Wisker
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
ISBN: 0230364969
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This practical, research-informed text will provide students across all disciplines with models, tasks and activities to enable them to plan, action, write and present quality research. It will help develop ideas, creative thinking and systematic research practices to enable students to produce high quality dissertations and reports.