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17/7/2011 Arab Reactions to Bin Ladin's Demise

Esther Webman

First published in Tel-Aviv Notes, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University.

On June 16, 2011, Ayman al-Zawahiri was named Usama Bin Ladin's successor as al-Qa‘ida's leader. His appointment was not taken for granted and had to be approved by al-Qa‘ida's central command. His ascension compels one to raise a number of questions: What is the state of the organization he is supposed to lead after more than a decade of war against it? Will he be able to rally the various factions around his leadership and gain their trust and support? What will be the impact of Bin Ladin's death on the organization? Will it continue on the same jihadist ideological path? In the aftermath of the tumultuous events in the region known as the "Arab Spring," what are its prospects and those of other jihadist movements?

18/6/2011 Israel: hope for the best, prepare for the worst

Ely Karmon

First published as "Israel: hope for the best, prepare for the worst," Longitude, The Italian Monthly on World Affairs, May 2011, pp. 59-66.

Not often does Israel finds itself a passive bystander amid Middle East turmoil. But as history shows, whether or not the Jewish state is a protagonist, it always winds up in someone's sights. So until the dust settles, there's not much to do but plan for contingencies. 

17/6/2011 The Road Ahead for Al-Qaeda: The Role of Aymaan al Zawahiri

Siddharth Ramana

This piece analyses the growth of Dr. Zawahiri among jihadist ranks and tries to forecast the future direction of Al-Qaeda under his aegis. This essay concludes that Zawahiri’s present weakness among jihadists is an initial irritant to the wider plans of Zawahiri, which would include re-focusing efforts towards the Arab world’s unrest before returning to target the West.

13/6/2011 Al-Qaeda - Mombassa Attacks 28 November 2002

Jonathan Fighel

On June 11, 2011 Somali police reported that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, one of Africa's most wanted al-Qaeda operatives, was killed in the capital of the Horn of Africa. Mohammed was reputed to be the head of al-Qaeda in east Africa, operated in Somalia and is accused of playing a lead role in the 1998 embassy attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, which killed 240 people. Mohammed is also believed to have masterminded the suicide attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombassa, Kenya in November 2002 that killed 15 people, including three Israeli tourists.

12/5/2011 Towards Global Jihadism: Al-Qaeda's Strategic, Ideological and Structural Adaptations since 9/11

Bill Braniff and Assaf Moghadam

First published by Perspectives on Terrorism - Volume 5, Issue 2

In recent years, Al-Qaeda has suffered a number of setbacks, but has also successfully spawned an expansionist global jihadist movement that will survive the death of Osama bin Laden. This article describes how the multifaceted threat posed by global jihadism has evolved over the last decade. It first recounts some of the more salient examples of Al-Qaeda’s post-9/11 strategic, ideological, and structural adaptations, and then offers a balance sheet of Al-Qaeda’s contemporary strengths and weaknesses. Al-Qaeda continues to enable the violence of others, orient that violence towards the United States and its allies in a distributed game of attrition warfare, and foster a dichotomous “us versus them” narrative between the Muslim world and the rest of the international community. Despite this overarching consistency, Al-Qaeda shepherds a different phenomenon than it did ten years ago. The aggregation of the movement’s strategic, ideological, and structural adaptations has fundamentally changed the nature of the jihadist threat to the West. This evolved threat is not inherently more dangerous, as counterterrorism efforts today focus on and disrupt capability earlier and more consistently than prior to September 2001. This multifaceted global jihad will, however, continue to produce greater numbers of attacks in more locations, from a more diverse cadre of individuals spanning a wider ideological spectrum.

4/5/2011 Osama Bin Laden's Elimination - First Responses from Jihadi Forums

ICT Staff

This interim report includes significant extracts and summaries of information from Jihad websites and forums relating to Osama Bin Laden, as well as a profile of the former Al-Qaeda leader. The report also contains ICT analysis and reaction to Bin Laden's death in the global media, and past articles published by the ICT on the subject of Bin Laden.

1/4/2011 The Battle for Libya: Implications for Africa

J. Peter Pham

The paper examines the likely geopolitical and economic impacts on Africa of the current fight between the rebels marching west to overthrow Libya’s Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi and the loyal military units taking the offensive against rebel-held towns in the eastern part of the country.

Paper first published in the World Defense Review, March 2011

24/3/2011 ‘Offensive Jihad' in Sayyid Qutb's Ideology

A.E. Stahl

Only by understanding and accepting the very real distortions of offensive jihad, will people begin to understand how little Qutb’s idea has to do with the majority of Muslims and with what Islam truly commands and demands from its followers.

19/2/2011 France at war with Al Qaeda

Shaul Shay

Unlike Britain and Spain, France has never been attacked successfully by al-Qaeda at home. Osama ben Laden 's last message may reflect Al Qaeda's and in particular AQIM's strategy calculating that an attack on French soil will have far greater political impact on France and the West than kidnapping and killing French citizens in remote areas in Afghanistan or in African countries.

6/2/2011 The Jihadi Forums: An Open Forum with Sheikh Abu Sa‘ad Al-‘Amili

ICT's Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group

There is no doubt that the Jihadi forums are a main component of the Jihadi public relations and information-sharing system. The forums are also a crucial platform for spreading Al-Qaeda's doctrine, as well as that of other Jihadi organizations, for updating their collaborators with news relating to the various Jihadi fields, for recruiting new members and collaborators, etc. In general, this medium has a strong influence in shaping the Jihadi discourse according to the forum members' viewpoint, their perception of the processes, etc. The forum members, who are committed to advancing the ideas of Jihad and who identify, to various degrees, with the Safafi-Jihadi credo, can be perceived as a “virtual imaginary community”. As such, the directors of the Jihadi forums place considerable importance on strengthening their ties with the surfers.
One of the main measures designed to strengthen the ties between the Jihadi forums and their surfers is the provision of an open platform to registered surfers for a limited period of time (usually a few days). During this time, the surfers have the rare opportunity to pose questions on various issues directly to a senior Jihadi-Salafi sheikh who is a guest on the forum. After closing the platform, the forum publishes an electronic booklet containing most of the surfers' questions and the sheikh's responses.
The following document focuses on an “open meeting” with Sheikh Abu Sa‘ad Al-‘Amili, a Jihadi-Salafi sheikh whose real identity remains a secret.

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