Understanding al-Qaeda’s Ideology for Counter-Narrative Work

Tom Quiggin


In order to counter the process of radicalization, it is necessary to understand the attraction of the narrative or the "messages" of al-Qaeda and its inspired followers. This article, based on a combination of wide ranging research and front line experience[1], examines the key points in al-Qaeda's ideology and its narratives which have gained so much attention and following. Central to this ideology are eight main themes or concepts which appear consistently in the narratives of al-Qaeda. These have been used to indoctrinate and twist young minds, many of them feeling attracted to such violent ideas. Based on a better understanding of the ideology and the underlying concepts of radical narratives, counterterrorism efforts can be enhanced by more effectively targeting the counter-narrative message.

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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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