Small Wars Journal

Al Qaeda

Countering Terrorism Center at West Point: Al-Qa`ida’s Soon-To-Be Third Emir? A Profile of Saif al-`Adl

Fri, 02/19/2021 - 5:53pm

Full Article:

Abstract: With the confirmed deaths of Hamza bin Ladin and Abu Muhammad al-Masri, as well as the reported (but as yet unconfirmed) demise of al-Qa`ida’s second emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the likely next in line to inherit the leadership is an Egyptian who goes by the nom de guerre Saif al-`Adl. Like the late Abu Muhammad, Saif lives in Iran and is apparently restricted from leaving the country. Little is known about his current movements or activities. Nevertheless, Saif’s revered status within the movement, as well as his deep experience as a military, intelligence, and security leader and a terrorist planner, make him a potentially dangerous emir.

Salafi Jihadism and Chemical Weapons Attacks: Ideological Contrasts and Strategic Constraints

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 1:07am
Chemical weapons attacks remain an uncommon choice for militant and terrorist organizations targeting Western countries. Their rarity makes them an attractive option, as the shock factor associated chemical weapons attacks plays into the main goal of any terrorist attack: to instill fear and insecurity in the population.

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IRGC (Sepah) and Hezbollah Strategic Note No. 1: Ex-IRGC General Details Iranian Influence in Bosnian War and Early Ties to al-Qaeda

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 12:34am
A former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) General, Saeed Ghasemi has, as early as 2015, revealed Iran’s involvement in the Bosnian War. While not much has been written about the topic nor has Ghasemi penned articles, there are videos of him on Iranian-state news outlets discussing Iran’s involvement. In the latest interview from 2019, Ghasemi reveals details of the Guards relationship with al-Qaeda.

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Toward Understanding the Actions of the Islamic State and Other Jihadist Groups as Military Doctrine SWJED Thu, 01/24/2019 - 9:43am
After over a decade and a half of the “War on Terror,” the United States and its allies have discovered the difficulty of fighting insurgent terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Operating from hard-to-reach areas, such as mountains and deserts, exploiting lack of effective government control, and leveraging support from local populations, these organizations have developed a way of war that defies even U.S. military efforts.

A Country Study of Communist Terrorism and Islamic Radicalization in Brazil: Implications for Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations in Counter-Guerilla Warfare

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 1:31am
Al-Qaeda religious extremist theology is a negative social movement in Brazil. Additional factors such as poverty, discrimination, and government inefficiency will permit radical Islamists to multiply and the Al-Qaeda terroristic theology to become a dangerous social movement in Brazil. Human terrain analysis and sociological intelligence notes that Al-Qaeda has embedded themselves into benevolent and peaceful Islamic communities of Brazil. Failure to believe that Al-Qaeda is not active in Brazil is a major social problem and intelligence failure.

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How the 2011 US Troop Withdrawal from Iraq Led to the Rise of ISIS

Sun, 12/23/2018 - 4:42pm
The United States was on the verge of achieving a lasting victory in the Iraq War after a costly seven-year occupation and the deaths of nearly 4,500 U.S. troops. In 2006, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) had lost its charismatic leader and chief strategist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Over the next few years, the organization lost its base of support as Iraq’s Sunni tribes turned against it and began fighting beside US and Iraqi troops to eject the terrorists from their communities. By 2010, Iraq had emerged from its civil war and AQI had become irrelevant. Then, President Barack Obama made two strategic mistakes that reversed that progress and sent Iraq spiraling back down the path of sectarian violence.

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The Role Al Qaeda Plays in Cyberterrorism

Sun, 08/12/2018 - 12:24am
As outlined in this report, I chose a specific terrorist organization, Al Qaeda, and analyzed the role that they played in cyberterrorism. Throughout the paper, I discussed how the terrorist organization utilized the internet to indoctrinate as well as recruit likeminded extremist individuals, delved into how Al Qaeda used the internet to conduct cyberterrorism, included some insight into how this particular terrorist organization’s activities effect the larger topic of cybersecurity, and touched on what the future of Al Qaeda could be in the cyber realm. Hopefully, after reading this paper, people will not dismiss Al Qaeda’s cyberterrorist capabilities or underestimate them while they are probably in the process of refining their credibility in cyberspace.

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SWJ Book Review - “The Muhammad Code: How a Desert Prophet Brought You ISIS, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram” SWJED Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:12am

The author has written an extraordinarily thorough and richly descriptive argument, with a variety of supporting themes.