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Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy
John Rollins (au)
Al Qaeda (AQ) has evolved into a significantly different terrorist organization than the one that perpetrated the September 11, 2001, attacks. Some analysts describe pre-9/11 Al Qaeda as akin to a corporation, with Osama Bin Laden acting as a CEO issuing orders and soliciting ideas from subordinates. Due to pressures from the security community, it has transformed into a diffuse global network and philosophical movement composed of dispersed nodes with varying degrees of independence. Contents of this report: (I) Background; (II) Origins of Al Qaeda; (III) Afghanistan; (IV) Pakistan: Background and Assessment; Implications for U.S. Policy; (V) Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP): Background and Threat Assessment; Implications for U.S. Policy; (VI) Al Qaeda in Iraq: Background and Threat Assessment; Implications for U.S. Policy; (VII) North Africa/Sahel: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM): Background and Threat Assessment; Algeria; The Sahel; Implications for U.S. Policy; (VIII) East Africa: Background and Threat Assessment: Somalia: Safe Haven for Terrorist Groups?; The Islamic Courts Union, Al Shabaab; The Leadership of Al Shabaab; Implications for U.S. Policy; (IX) Al Qaeda and Radical Islamist Groups in Southeast Asia: Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiya (JI); Suspected Al Qaeda Links to JI Splinter Cells; The Abu Sayyaf Group; Implications for U.S. Policy; (X) Al Qaeda’s Global Strategy and Long Term Policy Implications.
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