Ideal for both students of terrorism and general readers wanting to better understand modern terrorism, this book provides an in-depth look at Al Qaeda, including its origins, evolution, doctrines, structure, and terrorist operations. The authors examine Al Qaeda’s operational transitions over the last two decades, and consider these changes in terms of the impact of the Internet, the viciousness of the violence employed, the leverage of colonial past, and the subsequent international implications.
Particular attention is paid to Al Qaeda’s changing strategies for growth and survival across the Middle East and Africa as well as the threats that it poses to the United States as it continues to evolve in the wake of the Arab Spring. The work addresses why Al Qaeda—now both a professional force and a network of so-called “lone wolves”—must remain a primary focus of the United States and other Western states while also recognizing that the threat of terrorism goes beyond Al Qaeda.
- Analyzes the Al Qaeda belief that violence is required to achieve its goals and the common Al Qaeda perception that violence was used effectively by the colonialists and the West, particularly the United States and France
- Identifies the precursors to Al Qaeda organizations and how al Qaeda became what it is today
- Examines Al Qaeda's business associations and its ties to piracy and organized crime, identifying the opportunities these ties create; as well as the organization's use of emerging technology—especially the Internet—to reach out to a younger, technology-savvy audience for their message