Decoding Al Qaeda s Strategy

Author: Michael W. S. Ryan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231533276
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

Targeting Top Terrorists

Author: Bryan C. Price
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231547722
Format: PDF, Kindle
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When President Barack Obama announced the assassination of Osama bin Laden, many Americans hoped the killing of al-Qaida’s leader would sound the death knell for the organization. Since 9/11, killing and capturing terrorist leaders has been a central element in U.S. counterterrorism strategy. This practice, known as leadership decapitation, is based on the logic that removing key figures will disrupt the organization and contribute to its ultimate failure. Yet many scholars have argued that targeted killings are ineffective or counterproductive, questioning whether taking out a terror network’s leaders causes more problems than it solves. In Targeting Top Terrorists, Bryan C. Price offers a rich, data-driven examination of leadership decapitation tactics, providing theoretical and empirical explanations of the conditions under which they can be successful. Analyzing hundreds of cases of leadership turnover from over two hundred terrorist groups, Price demonstrates that although the tactic may result in short-term negative side effects, the loss of top leaders significantly reduces terror groups’ life spans. He explains vital questions such as: What factors make some terrorist groups more vulnerable than others? Is it better to kill or capture terrorist leaders? How does leadership decapitation compare to other counterterrorism options? With compelling evidence based on an original dataset along with an in-depth case study of Hamas, Targeting Top Terrorists contributes to scholarship on terrorism and organizational theory and provides insights for policy makers and practitioners on some of the most pressing debates in the field.

With Us and Against Us

Author: Stephen Tankel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023154734X
Format: PDF
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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 Sharia4 movement. The book 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.

The Evolution of the Global Terrorist Threat

Author: Bruce Hoffman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231537433
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Examining major terrorist acts and campaigns undertaken in the decade following September 11, 2001, internationally recognized scholars study the involvement of global terrorist leaders and organizations in these incidents and the planning, organization, execution, recruitment, and training that went into them. Their work captures the changing character of al-Qaeda and its affiliates since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the sophisticated elements that, despite the West's best counterterrorism efforts, continue to exert substantial direction over jihadist terrorist operations. Through case studies of terrorist acts and offensives occurring both in and outside the West, the volume's contributors investigate al-Qaeda and other related entities as they adapted to the strategies of Operation Enduring Freedom and subsequent U.S.-led global counterterrorism programs. They explore whether Osama bin Laden was indeed reduced to a mere figurehead before his death or continued to influence al-Qaeda's global activities. Did al-Qaeda become a loose collection of individuals and ideas following its expulsion from Afghanistan, or was it reborn as a transnational terrorist structure powered by a well-articulated ideology? What is the preeminent terrorist threat we face today, and what will it look like in the future? This anthology pinpoints the critical patterns and strategies that will inform counterterrorism in the coming decades.

Global Alert

Author: Boaz Ganor
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023153891X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Many associate terrorism with irrational behavior and believe only lunatics could perpetuate such horrific acts. Global Alert debunks this myth by anatomizing the rationale behind modern terrorism. It draws a distinct picture of its root and instrumental causes and plots the different stages of a terrorist attack, from indoctrination and recruitment to planning, preparation, and launch. Global Alert also exposes the measured exploitation of democratic institutions by terrorists to further their goals. Despite its strong capabilities and extensive resources, the modern liberal-democratic state is nevertheless subject to the rules of war, which partially restrict the state's ability to operate and maneuver. Boaz Ganor shows how terrorist organizations exploit these values to paralyze or neutralize the states they oppose. In outlining this new "hybrid" terrorist organization and its activity in both the military–terrorist arena and the political–welfare arena, Ganor advances an international doctrine for governing military operations between state and nonstate actors as part of a new type of armed conflict termed "multidimensional warfare."

Counterinsurgency in Crisis

Author: David H. Ucko
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231535414
Format: PDF
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Long considered the masters of counterinsurgency, the British military encountered significant problems in Iraq and Afghanistan when confronted with insurgent violence. In their effort to apply the principles and doctrines of past campaigns, they failed to prevent Basra and Helmand from descending into lawlessness, criminality, and violence. By juxtaposing the deterioration of these situations against Britain's celebrated legacy of counterinsurgency, this investigation identifies both the contributions and limitations of traditional tactics in such settings, exposing a disconcerting gap between ambitions and resources, intent and commitment. Building upon this detailed account of the Basra and Helmand campaigns, this volume conducts an unprecedented assessment of British military institutional adaptation in response to operations gone awry. In calling attention to the enduring effectiveness of insurgent methods and the threat posed by undergoverned spaces, David H. Ucko and Robert Egnell underscore the need for military organizations to meet the irregular challenges of future wars in new ways.

Der neue Terrorismus

Author: Stefan Goertz
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISBN: 3658188146
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Dieses Buch behandelt die Interaktion, Kooperation und Fusion von neuen Akteuren, Strategien, Taktiken und Mitteln des islamistischen Terrorismus und der transnationalen organisierten Kriminalität. Diese müssen als vitale Bedrohungen sowohl für die demokratische, westliche Welt als auch für die human security in Konfliktregionen analysiert werden. Die asymmetrische Bedrohung durch den neuen Terrorismus, den internationalen Jihadismus des 21. Jahrhunderts, kennt weder nationale noch internationale rechtlicheGrenzen und stellt die Gesellschaft, die politischen Akteure sowie die Sicherheitsbehörden vor bisher ungekannte Herausforderungen. In der Konsequenz ist die Sicherheitsarchitektur westlicher, demokratischer Staaten – aufgrund ihrer Trennung von äußerer und innerer Sicherheit – durch die neuen Hybridakteure besonders herausgefordert und die Gewährleistung ihrer Aufgaben gefährdet.

Agent Storm

Author: Morten Storm
Publisher: Riva Verlag
ISBN: 3864137209
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Der junge Däne Morten Storm ist Kleinkrimineller, Mitglied einer Motorrad-Gang und rutscht immer weiter in die Illegalität ab, bis er schließlich neuen Halt in den Schriften des Propheten Mohammed findet. Nach einem Gefängnisaufenthalt konvertiert er zum Islam und identifiziert sich zunehmend mit den radikalen Forderungen und Zielen extremistischer Islamisten. Ein längerer Aufenthalt im Jemen bringt ihn schließlich mit dem Hassprediger Anwar al-Awlaki zusammen. Doch noch während Storm mit diesem in direktem Kontakt steht, zweifelt er zunehmend an seinen Überzeugungen und arbeitet bald gleichzeitig für nicht weniger als drei westliche Geheimorganisationen. Von nun an führt Storm ein fast schizophrenes Leben: Er konzipiert und plant Anschläge mit führenden Köpfen der al-Qaida und lässt sich kurz darauf in luxuriöse Unterkünfte einfliegen, um seine Informationen mit westlichen Agenten zu teilen und die Nächte durchzufeiern. Seine Mission bleibt dabei jedoch ernst: einen der meistgesuchten Verbrecher Amerikas aufzuspüren und zu vernichten. Agent Storm ist ein leidenschaftliches und faszinierendes Buch voller Geschichten über codierte Nachrichten, verdeckte Treffen und die zweifelhaften Motive eines Doppelagenten – und gibt einen einzigartigen Einblick in das mächtigste und am meisten gefürchtete Terror-Netzwerk der Welt.