Al Qaeda
The Transformation of Terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa
by Denise N. Baken and Ioannis Mantzikos
August 2015, 246pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-2870-6
$57, £43, 48€, A82
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-2871-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Al Qaeda is more of a powerful ideology than an organization in the traditional sense of the term.

What threat does Al Qaeda pose to the United States as it continues to evolve in the wake of the Arab Spring, and what are the group's evolving strategies for growth and survival internationally? This book provides answers.

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.

Features

  • 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
Denise N. Baken, PhD, is biodefense affiliate faculty at George Mason University and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland University College. Her published works and research include the articles "Cyberspace and Nigeria Vulnerability-Nigeria's Cyber Boon and Cyber Warfare" and "An Examination of the Relationship Transition Between Terrorist Acts and Media."

Ioannis Mantzikos is a doctoral candidate at the University of the Free State in South Africa. He had postgraduate research at King's College London and holds a master's degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is a commentator and analyst for leading Greek and international news outlets. Mantzikos has served as research analyst for Wikistrat and Consultancy African Intelligence, as associate editor for E-International Relations and Freedom Observatory, and as columnist for the News Chronicle, a Nigerian daily.

Reviews

"For a student of the subject, this book gives the feeling of finding a treasure trove when first encountered in that it not only covers almost all possible aspects of the subject matter, but also leads to a plethora of sources that the reader might be delighted to find. In this sense, the book should be on the shelf of all serious students of the subject."—Middle East Media & Book Reviews, December 18, 2015

"This is a comprehensive examination of al Qaida during the period of 1989 to 2013."—Perspectives on Terrorism, November 23, 2016

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