Evolution of Al-Qaeda - Essay Example

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In the paper “Evolution of Al-Qaeda” the author tries to evaluate location of actors in the network in order to understand terrorist network. The reason to this is to find centrality of the node and the roles of the terrorist network…
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Evolution of Al-Qaeda
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Download file to see previous pages The death of Osama bin laden marked a new era in the operations of Al-Qaida. He was the founder of the network and analysts argue that his death was the end of Al-qaida. Security experts are of the view that in the short term, attacks from Al-Qaida may go up, and in the long run, the demise of Bin laden may erode its capabilities to carry out attacks. By use of social network analysis, this paper will discuss the evolution of Al-Qaida since 1990s from a central organization to an amorphous network. This paper will analyze strengths and weaknesses of Al-Qaida as a loosely tied terror group and provide evidences of its demise. On October 17th 2004, Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda and Zarqawi’s At-Tawhid Wal-Jihad come together under the network of Al-Qaeda. This merger made sociologist to identify what Al-Qaeda is and who its members are. The term Al-Qaeda describes a host of radical Islamic terrorist groups which might or might not have formal links with Osama bin Laden but share a common ideology. Zarqawi was a leading member of Al-Qaeda ideology in Iraq, though independent from the influences of Osama bin Laden. The evolution of Al-Qaeda can be traced with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and after the collapse of USSR in 1991; Al-Qaeda saw this as a catalyst to Islamic revolution. With the withdrawal of USSR from Afghanistan, Bin Laden made terrorist training camps in east of Afghanistan (Bergen, 34). Bin laden made a call for a crusade against the Americans in the 1990s and his success in attacking America on 11th of September 2001 affirmed bin Laden’s status as a Jihadist. The destruction of Taliban regime and bin laden’s training grounds dealt the movement a major blow while the invasion of Iraq by America in 2003 made Al-Qaeda develop a new action plan. Without its Afghan training camps (Sageman, 56), Al-Qaeda was in need of other training grounds and focus was on lawless Somalia and Iraq. Currently, Al-Qaeda under Zawahiri has an alliance with Somalia terrorist group, Al- Shabaab who are facing extensive military campaign from the African Union. Al-Qaeda has exhibited the following strengths, The organization has been able to re-establish itself in active conflict zones of Pakistan and Somalia. This allows the organization to link itself with other likeminded groups thus sharing their resources. Another communicative advantage is on Al-Qaeda assumption that United States is waging a war against Islam and this is evidenced in its occupation of Muslim countries, i.e. Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda use of internet in disseminating information is core for its operations. Bin Laden in passing out information, used the internet. Al-Qaeda has the following weaknesses (Scheur, 35); The movement has failed to conduct meaningful operations and secure the lives of its leaders. The American government and its allies have managed to kill most of its commanders including Osama bin laden. The defeat and stagnation of Al-Qaeda affiliates is a major weakness of Al-Qaeda since it undermines their coordinative capabilities. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was decimated by Saudi Arabia while its affiliate in Iraq suffered a strategic defeat at the hands of the Sunni Muslims. Competition from the state and non-state actors pose a credibility challenge to Al-Qaeda. For instance the emergence of Iran and its defiance of the West undermine Al-Qaeda credibility in claiming a leading role in Anti-American pursuit. Evidences that Al-Qaeda has been weakened (Tripathi, 64) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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