Al Qaeda Recruitment in the United States

A Preliminary Assessment

Published in: The MiPT Terrorism Annual, 2004, p. 53-69

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2003

by William Rosenau

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Since 9/11, the FBI has undertaken an ambitious program to build the bureaus capacity to prevent future terrorist attacks on the American homeland. Although today the FBI is devoting considerably more resources and attention to al Qaeda activities within the United States, it is unclear from publicly available information how comprehensive a picture the bureau has been able to draw. This article will attempt to fill in at least part of this gap by offering some preliminary thoughts on al Qaeda recruitment practices within the United States. Understanding the recruitment process is critical if law enforcement and intelligence officials are to plan, mount, and assess operations to penetrate and disrupt al Qaedas networks and support bases.

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