Not Saussure

September 8, 2006

Al-Qaeda — the good news and the bad news

Filed under: 9/11, Al-Qaeda, Chatham House, UK, usa, War on Terror — notsaussure @ 9:54 pm

Chatham House, one of the world’s leading bodies for the analysis of International Affairs, has just published a paper on Al-Qaeda Five Years On (pdf).
The good news is that

the US-led globally coordinated security measures have seriously undermined Al-Qaeda’s communication, finance and recruitment networks

while the bad news is that

Al-Qaeda’s image as a global player has been unintentionally enhanced by the US and its allies

The report’s bullet point summary reads:

• Five years on, the challenge to al-Qaeda is coming from within as traditional Islam attacks the use of terror as un-Islamic and popular support wanes as terrorist attacks target Muslims.

• Nonetheless, there has been an increased radicalization of the Muslim street but this seems to be finding expression in Islamist groups who are keen to use democratic channels.

• Al-Qaeda’s main success has been to highlight the link between the West’s policies in the Middle East and terrorism.

• Despite its religious rhetoric, al-Qaeda’s strength lies in its political message which resonates with many but whose tactics have attracted only the fringe.

• The West faces a terrorist challenge that comes from within its borders and which impinges on community relations and civil liberties.

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