Thirty years after its foundation – where is al-Qaida going?
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This article presents a framework for understanding al-Qaida, based on a new reading of its thirty-year history.
Al-Qaida today is commonly labelled a ‘global insurgency’ or ‘global franchise.’ However, these labels are not
sufficient if we want to understand what kind of threat al-Qaida poses to the West. Al-Qaida is better described
as a revolutionary vanguard, engaged in a perpetual struggle to further its Salafi-jihadi ideology. Its strategy is
flexible and opportunistic, and the organization uses a range of tools associated with both state and non-state
actors. In the future al-Qaida is likely to treat international terrorist planning, and support to local insurgencies
in the Muslim world, as two separate activities. International terrorism is currently not a prioritised strategy of
al-Qaida, but it is likely to be so in the future, given that it manages to re-build its external operations capability.
Thirty years after its foundation – where is al-Qaida going?. Perspectives on Terrorism 2017 ;Volum 11.(6) s. 5-16