Al Qaida

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  • Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden in Jamkha, Afghanistan, May 1, 1998, photo by Balkis Press/ABACA/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Question of Succession in Al-Qaida

    Two months after the death of al Qaida leader Aymin al-Zawahiri, experts continue to debate potential contenders for his replacement while waiting for al-Qaeda to make an announcement. A dark horse contender with long ties to Osama bin Laden could upend predictions and threaten to revive one of history's most lethal terrorist groups.

    Sep 29, 2022

  • A Taliban fighter stands guard near the site where Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a U.S. strike over the weekend, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 2, 2022, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    After the al-Zawahiri Strike, the U.S. May Lack Capabilities in Afghanistan

    The U.S. drone strike that killed al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan took out one of the last remaining key figures behind the 9/11 terror attacks. But it also highlighted how little the United States got out of its 2020 bargain with the Taliban, and raised questions about the U.S. ability to adequately monitor the developing threat from this quarter going forward.

    Aug 3, 2022

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  • Report

    Report

    How Does the Conflict in Afghanistan Compare to Counterinsurgencies of the Past 30 Years?

    An analysis of 30 insurgencies worldwide between 1978 and 2008 determined what factors were ultimately correlated with success or defeat. Comparing Afghanistan in early 2011 against this scorecard results in an uncertain outcome for the conflict there, but the findings may help provide additional guidance as operations continue.

    Jun 27, 2011

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    Al Qaeda after bin Laden

    We have greatly reduced al Qaeda's capacity for large-scale attacks, but the terrorist campaign led by al Qaeda may go on for many years. It is fair to call it a war, without implying that, like America’s past wars, it must have a finite ending.

    Jun 22, 2011

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    After bin Laden: The United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan

    On June 16, 2011, the RAND Corporation presented

    Jun 16, 2011

  • Multimedia

    After bin Laden

    Seth Jones, Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation, speaks about the latest developments in Afghanistan following the death of Osama bin Laden.

    Jun 15, 2011

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Glimpse of bin Laden Techniques in Captured Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq

    Captured financial documents of al-Qa'ida's Iraq affiliate in Anbar Province revealed its internal operations and enabled one of the most comprehensive assessments of an al-Qa'ida linked group, write Benjamin Bahney, Renny McPherson, and Howard J. Shatz.

    May 26, 2011

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    The Future of Al Qa'ida

    Even after the death of Osama bin Laden, al Qa'ida and allied groups continue to present a grave threat to the United States and its allies by overseeing and encouraging terrorist operations, managing a robust propaganda campaign, conducting training, and facilitating financial assistance.

    May 24, 2011

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    Transitioning to Afghan-Led Counterinsurgency

    The U.S. military strategy should transition to an Afghan-led counterinsurgency strategy which would involve decreasing the U.S. military footprint and relying on Special Operations Forces to help Afghans conduct counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations.

    May 10, 2011

  • Multimedia

    Multimedia

    Brian Michael Jenkins Discusses the Death of bin Laden and Prognosis for al Qaeda

    Brian Michael Jenkins, senior adviser at the RAND Corporation, spoke with RAND media relations director Jeffrey Hiday about the death of Osama bin Laden and how it might affect al Qaeda, the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, and more.

    May 4, 2011

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    The Al Qa'ida Threat in Pakistan

    Even before the killing of Osama bin Laden, with the growing instability across the Arab world, some argued that the primary al Qa'ida threat now comes from the Persian Gulf or North Africa. While these regions certainly present a threat to Western security, al Qa'ida's primary command and control structure remains situated in Pakistan.

    May 3, 2011

  • Brochure

    Brochure

    The Tenth Year: A Briefing on Terrorism Issues to New Members of the 112th Congress

    The U.S. effort to defeat and dismantle the global terrorism network while protecting itself against further attacks has become its longest campaign. On January 8, 2011, Brian Michael Jenkins briefed newly elected members of Congress on a spectrum of foreign policy, national security, and domestic issues, with a particular focus on domestic terrorism prevention and transportation security in the post-9/11 era.

    Feb 3, 2011

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    Report

    Financial Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq Reveal Vulnerabilities and Information about the Group

    An analysis of the financial operations and economics of al-Qa'ida in Iraq in Anbar province indicates that members were poorly compensated and suggests that they were not motivated primarily by money to join the group.

    Dec 15, 2010

  • Testimony

    Testimony

    The al Qaeda-Inspired Terrorist Threat: An Appreciation of the Current Situation

    In testimony presented before the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Anti-terrorism, Brian Michael Jenkins assesses al Qaeda and its influence in 2010, and compares it with the organization it was in 2001, at the time of the September 11 attacks.

    Dec 6, 2010

  • Report

    Report

    Deradicalization Process Is Essential Part of Fighting Terrorism

    Counter-radicalization programs in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe indicate that deradicalizing Islamist extremists may be even more important than getting them to simply disengage from terrorist activities.

    Nov 9, 2010

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Our Foes Cannot Destroy This Nation

    We have come through wars, depressions, natural and man-made disasters, indeed higher levels of domestic terrorist violence than that we face today, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Sep 27, 2010

  • Report

    Report

    Simple Models to Explore Deterrence and More General Influence in the War with al-Qaeda

    Simple, conceptual models can be used to help guide thinking about how to deter or to otherwise influence potential, actual, or disengaging terrorists and the many people who support their organizations directly or indirectly.

    Jul 16, 2010

  • Report

    Report

    Counterinsurgency in Pakistan

    The rising number of terrorist plots in the United States with links to Pakistan—most recently the failed car-bombing in New York City—is partly a result of an unsuccessful strategy by Pakistan and the U.S. to weaken the range of militant groups operating in Pakistan.

    Jun 2, 2010

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Jihadist Threat Keeps Evolving

    The lesson of the Times Square attack is that the terrorist threat posed by the jihadist movement continues to evolve. It is today more decentralized, more dependent upon al Qaeda's affiliates, allies and individual acolytes to continue its global terrorist campaign, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    May 10, 2010

  • Report

    Report

    Would-Be Warriors: Incidents of Jihadist Terrorist Radicalization in the United States Since September 11, 2001

    Effective intelligence gathering and a Muslim community unsympathetic to calls to violence have discouraged homegrown jihadist terrorism in the U.S. While there was a spike in domestic terrorism in 2009, the perpetrators were mostly individuals who recruited themselves into the role of terrorists.

    May 5, 2010

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    Al Qaeda Tipping Point? Still a Long Way to Go

    We are still too close to the events to discern the long-term trajectory of the campaign against al Qaeda. And almost nine years after 9/11, analysts are still remarkably divided in their assessments of al Qaeda's current situation, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Apr 26, 2010

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    How a Decade of Terror Changed America

    Two foiled airliner bombings bracket a decade that changed the world's understanding of terrorism as a new form of global warfare and has had profound ramifications we are still coming to grips with in the U.S., writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Dec 30, 2009