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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

How al Qaeda Works

Feb 24th, 2011 al-Qaida

In an article published in the March/April 2011 edition of Foreign Affairs magazine, Leah Farrall writes that Al Qaeda is stronger today than when it carried out the 9/11 attacks. The  article, entitled "How Al Qaeda works,"  argues that accounts that contend that it is on the decline treat the central al Qaeda organization separately from its subsidiaries and overlook its success in expanding its power and influence through them.

She writes:

"Despite nearly a decade of war, al Qaeda is stronger today than when it carried out the 9/11 attacks. Before 2001, its history was checkered with mostly failed attempts to fulfill its most enduring goal: the unification of other militant Islamist groups under its strategic leadership. However, since fleeing Afghanistan to Pakistan's tribal areas in late 2001, al Qaeda has founded a regional branch in the Arabian Peninsula and acquired franchises in Iraq and the Maghreb. Today, it has more members, greater geographic reach, and a level of ideological sophistication and influence it lacked ten years ago.[…]

It is time for an updated conception of al Qaeda's organization that takes into account its relationships with its subsidiaries. A broader conceptual framework will allow for a greater understanding of how and to what degree it exercises command and control over its expanded structure, the goals driving its expansion strategy, and its tactics."

For the full text of the article, click here

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