Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The Future of al-Qaeda

| June 6, 2011

The death of Osama bin Laden on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan is undoubtedly a major setback for al-Qaeda and a significant achievement for the United States and its allies. In recent days, al-Qaeda purportedly has released several statements, including a lengthy two-part video, but its message since bin Laden's killing remains confused. While the first statements released by the group and its affiliates focused on praising bin Laden and vowing new attacks, the most recent video focuses instead on "one-man" terrorist attacks in the West, featuring mostly recycled footage mixed in with some new segments from American Adam Gadahn and Libyan al-Qaeda ideologue Abu Yahya al-Libi.

While spurring followers to commit "lone wolf" attacks is not new for al-Qaeda, the video's message is a far cry from sweeping past statements about change and revolution....

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Parvez, Tariq and Hassan Abbas.“The Future of al-Qaeda.” Foreign Policy, June 6, 2011.