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"The Future of al-Qaeda"

Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami supporter during a rally against drone attacks, June 4, 2011 in Karachi, Pakistan. Ilyas Kashmiri, a top al-Qaida commander and possible replacement for Osama bin Laden, was killed by a U.S. drone-fired missile.
AP Photo

"The Future of al-Qaeda"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

June 6, 2011

Authors: Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Tariq Parvez

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security


The death of Osama bin Laden on May 2 in Abbottabad, Pakistan is undoubtedly a major setback for al-Qaeda and a significant achievement for the United States and its allies. In recent days, al-Qaeda purportedly has released several statements, including a lengthy two-part video, but its message since bin Laden's killing remains confused. While the first statements released by the group and its affiliates focused on praising bin Laden and vowing new attacks, the most recent video focuses instead on "one-man" terrorist attacks in the West, featuring mostly recycled footage mixed in with some new segments from American Adam Gadahn and Libyan al-Qaeda ideologue Abu Yahya al-Libi.

While spurring followers to commit "lone wolf" attacks is not new for al-Qaeda, the video's message is a far cry from sweeping past statements about change and revolution....

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For Academic Citation:

Parvez, Tariq and Hassan Abbas. "The Future of al-Qaeda." Foreign Policy, June 6, 2011.

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