The Rise and Fall of al-Qaeda

The Rise and Fall of al-Qaeda

The Rise and Fall of al-Qaeda

The Rise and Fall of al-Qaeda

Synopsis

How much of a threat is al-Qaeda today? Ten years after September 11th, it remains shrouded in myth, lurking everywhere, ceaselessly plotting to kill innocent people en masse. While there is currently extensive and on going analysis of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad and what it contained, there has been little debate over his organization's Viability. The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda will launch that debate.

Excerpt

It committed one of the most chilling and brutal attacks in the memory of a generation, transforming the landscape of international affairs, and inexorably changing the course of its greatest superpower—launching not one but two wars, which have lasted longer than the two great world wars of the twentieth century combined. The radical politics of a small band of Muslim extremists became everyone’s business, and their actions, particularly those of a single day now ten years ago, set into motion reactions and counter-reactions that continue to dominate headlines, guide foreign policy, and define domestic agendas.

And yet, like Osama bin Laden himself, the world’s most feared and hated terrorist organization, indeed the very embodiment of what “terrorist organization” has come to mean in the minds of Americans and Westerners alike and the symbol of everything that is antithetical to Western values, no longer exists. It has all but vanished, or at least dwindled to the palest shadow of its former self.

News of bin Laden’s killing by US Special Forces at a compound near the capital city of Islamabad, deep in the heart of Pakistan, has sunk in. News of al-Qaeda’s demise, on the other hand, has not. A gulf has emerged between the perception of the threat posed by al-Qaeda and its actual capabilities, and this gulf continues to widen.

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