Beyond al-Qaeda Part 1- The Global Jihadist Movement

Beyond al-Qaeda Part 1- The Global Jihadist Movement

Beyond al-Qaeda Part 1- The Global Jihadist Movement

Beyond al-Qaeda Part 1- The Global Jihadist Movement

Synopsis

Examines al-Qaeda's evolution and the emergence of the broader global jihadist movement-groups affiliated, associated, or inspired by al-Qaeda-and the threat that they pose to the United States and U.S. allies and interests. The authors conclude by setting out a four-pronged strategy to counter the jihadist threat.

Excerpt

Defeating the global jihadist movement—which we define as al-Qaeda and the universe of jihadist groups that are associated with or inspired by al-Qaeda—is the most pressing security challenge facing the United States today. The global jihadist movement can be distinguished from traditional or local jihads, which are armed campaigns conducted by Islamist groups against local adversaries with usually limited aims and geographic scope, in that it targets the United States and its allies across the globe and pursues broad geopolitical aims.

Although the U.S. campaign against al-Qaeda and the global jihadist movement campaign has had some notable successes, such as the destruction of al-Qaeda’s sanctuary in Afghanistan, the elimination of many of the group’s leaders, and the growing resolve of many countries to take action against al-Qaeda and its associates, no informed observers believe that al-Qaeda will be eliminated anytime soon. Indeed, in some respects al-Qaeda has metastasized into an even more formidable adversary—dispersed across the global South, Western Europe, and North America, largely self-sustaining, and despite intense government countermeasures, able to mount devastating operations, such as the railway bombing that killed nearly 200 people in Madrid on March 11, 2004, and the London bombings of July 7, 2005. The United States itself continues to be threatened by large-scale attacks, as suggested by heightened security alerts and reports of plans to attack financial . . .

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