Thirty Years After its Foundation - Where is al-Qaida Going?

Anne Stenersen


Al-Qaida today is commonly labelled a ‘global insurgency’ or ‘global franchise.’ However, these labels are not sufficient if we want to understand what kind of threat al-Qaida poses to the West. Al-Qaida is better described as a revolutionary vanguard, engaged in a perpetual struggle to further its Salafi-jihadi ideology. Its strategy is flexible and opportunistic, and the organization uses a range of tools associated with both state and non-state actors. In the future al-Qaida is likely to treat international terrorist planning, and support to local insurgencies in the Muslim world, as two separate activities. International terrorism is currently not a prioritised strategy of al-Qaida, but it is likely to be so in the future, given that it manages to re-build its external operations capability.

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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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