20 Items

This frame grab taken from an August 5, 2007 video message carrying the logo of al-Qaida's production house as-Sahab and provided by IntelCenter, a U.S. government contractor monitoring al-Qaida messaging, purports to show Ayman Zawahri.


Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Delegitimizing al-Qaida: Defeating an 'Army Whose Men Love Death'

  • Jerry Mark Long
  • Alex S. Wilner
| Summer 2014

Al-Qaida has established a metanarrative that enables it to recruit militants and supporters. The United States and its allies can challenge its ability to do so by delegitimizing the ideological motivations that inform that metanarrative.

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Attacking the Leader, Missing the Mark: Why Terrorist Groups Survive Decapitation Strikes

  • Jenna Jordan
| Spring 2014

Many academics and policymakers argue that the removal of leaders is an effective strategy in combating terrorism. Leadership decapitation is not always successful, however. A theory of organizational resilience explains why some terrorist organizations survive decapitation. Application of this theoretical model to the case of al-Qaida reveals that the deaths of Osama bin Laden and other high level al-Qaida operatives are unlikely to cause significant organizational decline.

An unidentified Mujahideen rebel stands on guard on high ground over looking the rocky mountainous while on patrol in the area of Kunar Province near the Pakistan border, Feb., 1980, Afghanistan.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the Globalization of Jihad

| Winter 2010/11

Why has transnational war volunteering increased so dramatically in the Muslim world since 1980? Standard explanations, which emphasize U.S.-Saudi support for the 1980s Afghan mujahideen, the growth of Islamism, or the spread of Wahhabism are insufficient. The increase in transnational war volunteering is better explained as the product of a pan-Islamic identity movement that grew strong in the 1970s Arab world from elite competition among exiled Islamists in international Islamic organizations and Muslim regimes.

Afghan police officers and villagers stand near a destroyed vehicle which was used by a suicide bomber in Chaparhar district of Ningarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Jan. 17, 2009.

AP Photo

Journal Article - CTC Sentinel

Shifting Trends in Suicide Attacks

| January 2009

"By far, the most dramatic trend related to the location of suicide attacks is the gradual shift of incidents from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Between July 2007 and June 2008, the last one-year period for which data on suicide attacks are available, 58.2% of suicide attacks struck Iraq, and 36.6% struck Afghanistan and Pakistan. This compares to a much wider gap between suicide attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan in the preceding year (July 2006 to June 2007), when 69.3% of attacks took place in Iraq, and 25.1% in Afghanistan and Pakistan...."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, left, shakes hands with his Armenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, prior to their press conference, in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 16, 2008.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Viewpoints

The Geopolitical Factor in Iran's Foreign Policy

| January 29, 2009

"Revolutions either expand to export their ideologies or preserve themselves from the outside world. The 1979 Islamic revolution of Iran is no exception. A careful reading of Iran's actions in the region shows how and why Iran has shifted its policies to meet the latter aim. Since the revolution, Iran's leaders have faced the challenge of balancing their ideological (idealism) and geopolitical (pragmatism) approaches to foreign policy. Gradually, the Iranian leadership has come to focus on the geopolitical factor in the conduct of foreign policy; today, ideology one factor among many other sources of Iran's power, and serves the aim of preserving Iran's national security and interests...."

Mourners surround the ambulance carrying Bhutto's body to her familial burial site in Ghari Khuda Baksh, Larkana district.


Newspaper Article - The Washington Times

Scotland Yard to Probe Bhutto Death

January 2, 2008

Xenia Dormandy, a former director for South Asia at the National Security Council and currently director of the Project on India and the Subcontinent at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, agreed that Mrs. Bhutto's assassination had put Mr. Musharraf's future in jeopardy.

"He is being widely blamed for the assassination attack by PPP cadre, either directly or for complicity in not providing her sufficient security,” Ms. Dormandy said.

A convoy of Pakistan paramilitary passes the site of a suicide bombing in Mingora, part of the North West Frontier Province.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Terrorism Monitor

Is the NWFP Slipping Out of Pakistan's Control?

| November 26, 2007

"The NWFP is not likely to physically slip out of Pakistan’s hands.... Religious political forces have lost some of their support base (Daily Times, November 22) due to poor governance ..... Musharraf’s arbitrary imposition of emergency rule (read: martial law) has targeted those very forces which can challenge extremists. Many human rights activists and lawyers in the NWFP were arrested and top judges of the NWFP high court known for their progressive views and integrity have been sent home. Among the militants, however, this action of Musharraf is being interpreted as his weakness, further emboldening their activities...."

Magazine Article - Terrorism Focus

Who Tried to Kill Benazir Bhutto?

| October 24, 2007

"Benazir Bhutto, twice-elected prime minister of Pakistan and the first woman head of a Muslim state, decided to terminate her self-exile and return to Pakistan last week. By all accounts, more than a million people (mostly poor and young) welcomed her enthusiastically in the port city of Karachi on October 18. In the midst of the celebration, the political rally was targeted by a series of suicide attacks killing around 140 people. Bhutto and her top party leaders, however, remained unhurt.

Who would have been the potential beneficiary of Bhutto's elimination?"

Bracing for Bhutto: Pakistan Prepares for Former Prime Minister’s Return

AP Photo

Newspaper Article - Metro Boston

Bracing for Bhutto: Pakistan Prepares for Former Prime Minister’s Return

October 18, 2007

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came home to a now-nuclear nation that faces conflicts on its borders with both India and Afghanistan, enduring poverty and an increasing militant presence that already has marked her for death. But, according to Hassan Abbas, Bhutto may be Pakistan’s best shot at true democracy.

Increasing Talibanization in Pakistan's Seven Tribal Agencies

AP Photo

Magazine Article - Terrorism Monitor

Increasing Talibanization in Pakistan's Seven Tribal Agencies

| September 27, 2007

"The government of President Pervez Musharraf is facing policy failure in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Taliban forces and their sympathizers are becoming entrenched in the region and are aggressively expanding their influence and operations (especially in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan and Swat Valley in the North-West Frontier Province). A lethal combination of Musharraf's political predicament and declining public support, a significant rise in suicide attacks targeting the army and the reluctance of soldiers deputed in the area to engage tribal gangs militarily further exacerbates this impasse...."