Al Qaida


  • Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front fighters carry weapons on the back of pick-up trucks in Arsal, eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, December 1, 2015, photo by Stringer/Reuters


    Al Qaeda Is Ready to Attack You Again

    Sep 5, 2019

    As al Qaeda continues to evolve, one of the most pressing questions is to what extent the group is still focused on attacking the West. Does the absence of spectacular attacks attributed to al Qaeda since 9/11 represent a lack of capability or merely a shift in priorities?

  • Osama bin Laden (L) sits with his adviser Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a secret location in Afghanistan, November 10, 2001, photo by Hamid Mir/Reuters


    Is Ayman al-Zawahiri Really the Future of Al-Qaida?

    Sep 11, 2020

    Nineteen years after 9/11, al Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has yet to achieve the household notoriety evoked by his immediate predecessor, Osama bin Laden. But even though Zawahiri has conjured less of a personality cult, al Qaida's current leader is just as dangerous to the United States as its old one.

Explore Al Qaida

  • A businesswoman types on a laptop computer


    U.S. Muslims Are Powerful Force in Online Battle Against al Qaeda

    Al Qaeda has long used the internet to attract recruits but with minimal success in the U.S., however, as most American Muslims hold no sympathy for al Qaeda and are actually an effective counterforce to online jihadist efforts.

    Feb 4, 2013

  • Touareg rebels in Mali hoist a flag


    The al Qaeda Threat in North Africa

    Last week's terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas complex in Algeria, along with the recent success of the militant groups fighting government forces in Mali, indicate al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are gaining influence in North Africa. RAND experts weigh in on the latest developments.

    Jan 24, 2013

  • Commentary

    Al Qaeda Threat to U.S. Embassy in Yemen Raises Questions

    As in most war zones and high threat environments, one of the dangers to guard against is complacency...people become accustomed to a certain level of danger and assume that they have everything under control, when in fact they may have not fully thought through the problems posed by an enemy that is continually innovating, writes William Young.

    Jan 4, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Considering Al-Qa'ida's Innovation Doctrine: From Strategic Texts to "Innovation in Practice"

    Understanding how terrorist groups innovate and adapt is key for anticipating future shifts in terrorist threats.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari says he has intelligence that members of al Qaeda are crossing from Iraq into Syria to carry out attacks, July 5, 2012


    Another Problem in Syria: al Qaeda

    Beyond chemical weapons, another concern in the Syrian conflict is the rise in prominence of al Qaeda-affiliated fighters amid the opposition forces. There is a growing need to conduct a covert campaign against al Qaeda and other extremist groups gaining a presence in the country.

    Dec 12, 2012

  • Iraqi Army soldiers practice prior to an urban operations live-fire exercise at Camp Taji in December 2010


    Difficult Questions on Today's Terrorist Threat

    Much like the struggle against the Soviet Union and Communism during the Cold War, it appears increasingly likely that the struggle against radical Islamic groups will last several decades, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Oct 22, 2012

  • Testimony


    New Challenges to U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts: An Assessment of the Current Terrorist Threat: Addendum

    Document submitted on August 24, 2012 as an addendum to testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on July 11, 2012.

    Aug 27, 2012

  • Drone recovery demonstration


    Drone Strikes Keep Pressure on al-Qaida

    Recently declassified correspondence seized in the bin Laden raid shows that the relentless pressure from the drone campaign on al-Qaida in Pakistan led bin Laden to advise al-Qaida operatives to leave Pakistan's Tribal Areas as no longer safe, writes Patrick B. Johnston.

    Aug 22, 2012

  • A Free Syrian Army fighter takes cover during clashes with the Syrian Army in the Salaheddine neighbourhood of central Aleppo, August 7, 2012


    Fiasco in the Levant

    The United States' ability to shape future events in Syria will only be as great as the support it gives the rebels in their fight to topple Assad, writes James Dobbins.

    Aug 9, 2012

  • Report


    Understanding and Influencing Public Support for Insurgency and Terrorism

    Public support for al-Qa'ida's transnational jihadist movement, the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey, and the Maoist insurgency in Nepal is examined using a conceptual model that draws on social science and social movement theory.

    Jul 31, 2012

  • Syrian rebel fighters pose for a picture in Hama, Syria, July 20, 2012


    Al Qaeda's War for Syria

    Assuming Assad's regime eventually collapses, a robust al Qaeda presence will undermine transition efforts and pose a major threat to regional stability, writes Seth Jones.

    Jul 27, 2012

  • Testimony

    New Challenges to U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts

    The United States confronts a more diverse terrorist threat in 2012 than it has in the past. Al Qaeda has exploited the turmoil created by the Arab uprisings to make tactical advances and open new fronts. In addition, several incidents in the past year suggest a resurgence of Iranian-sponsored terrorism.

    Jul 11, 2012

  • A man on a computer in a dark room


    Getting the Threat Right

    Would-be jihadist warriors are angry, eager for adventure, out to assuage personal humiliation and demonstrate their manhood. Many appear to be motivated by personal crises—terrorism does not attract the well adjusted, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Jun 15, 2012

  • Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam hold an image of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden during an anti-American rally in Quetta May 2, 2012


    Is the War on Terror Over? Not Yet.

    Over time, al Qaeda could just fade away. Always resilient, it may morph to survive. Developments on any of several fronts might even enable it to rise again. In a long contest, surprises must be expected, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    May 2, 2012

  • Multimedia


    Seth Jones Discusses President Obama's Afghanistan Address

    Seth Jones, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation, and Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress discuss implications of the President Obama's address after a surprise visit to Afghanistan with PBS NewsHour's Gwen Ifill.

    May 1, 2012

  • U.S. and Iraqi soldiers run by a burning vehicle in Hussein Hamadi village, Iraq


    Al Qaeda Is Far from Defeated

    As the administration looks eastward—a strategy that incorporates China's rise—underestimating al Qaeda would be a dangerous mistake, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Apr 30, 2012

  • Armed militant


    A Year After Osama bin Laden's Death, Obituaries for al Qaeda Are Still Way Too Premature

    Predictions of al Qaeda's imminent demise are rooted more in wishful thinking and politicians' desire for applause lines than in rigorous analysis, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Apr 24, 2012

  • Commercial Book

    Commercial Book

    Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa'ida Since 9/11

    A comprehensive, landmark history and insider's account chronicles the ongoing battle against al Qa'ida, the greatest threat the West has faced in the modern era.

    Apr 9, 2012

  • Three Islamic women


    Terror's 'Invisible Women'

    For their part, a younger generation of female jihadists has come to believe that acts of violence can be just as liberating politically and spiritually for women as for men, writes Karla Cunningham.

    Apr 4, 2012

  • Testimony


    How Should the United States Manage Future Irregular Warfare Challenges?

    Based on America's recent experience in irregular warfare and future threats, there are several issues that should be considered: organization, the health of U.S. soldiers and their families, training and education, and inter-agency cooperation.

    Mar 27, 2012