Al-Qaeda's Response to the Arab Spring

Donald Holbrook


The Arab revolutions, often referred to collectively as the ‘Arab Spring’, posed, and continue to present, a considerable challenge for Al-Qaeda. This article assesses how Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership, as well as affiliates and associates, have responded to the Arab Spring, by analysing media material and public communiqués issued in the aftermath of the uprisings. The first section discusses the impact of the Arab Spring on Al-Qaeda. The second section explores the Al-Qaeda core leadership response to the revolutions, especially the ways in which Ayman Al-Zawahiri has chosen to frame the events. The third section examines the way Al-Qaeda’s affiliates and associates have responded to the revolutions, including contributions to the English-language Inspire magazine. Overall, The article describes how Al-Qaeda has sought to interpret the events in its favour and how it hopes to exploit the current turmoil in the wake of the Arab revolutions.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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