Counter-Terrorism: Al Qaeda's Final Act

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July 19, 2011: Last month, 31 days after leader Osama bin Laden was killed, al Qaeda released a hundred minute long video. In it, the death of bin Laden is acknowledged, and followers are told to rely on themselves, and carry out attacks against the enemies of Islam (anyone who does not agree with al Qaeda's call for Islamic world domination). Most of the video narration is in Arabic, but there are short segments in several other languages (including English), all delivering the same (let's all get out there and kill for Allah) message.

What this video also made clear was that al Qaeda was no longer a support organization for Islamic radicals, or even as  headquarters. Members (or followers) were told to plan and carry out attacks on their own. Al Qaeda has gone from Terrorist Central to acting as a terrorist cheerleading squad. This is not surprising, as in the last decade, al Qaeda has been under relentless attack, losing nearly all its original leadership, and several waves of replacements. Heavy use of terror attacks in Arab countries, and the subsequent death of over 40,000 Arab civilians, caused al Qaeda to lose most of its grassroots support. But there are still true believers out there, and the surviving al Qaeda leadership wants the scattered remnants to go out in a cataclysm of violence.

 

 


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