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The Dynamics of RadicalizationA Relational and Comparative Perspective$
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Eitan Y. Alimi, Lorenzo Bosi, and Chares Demetriou

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937707

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937707.001.0001

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The Salafi Transnational Jihad Movement and al-Qaeda (1984–2001)

The Salafi Transnational Jihad Movement and al-Qaeda (1984–2001)

Chapter:
(p.129) Chapter 5 The Salafi Transnational Jihad Movement and al-Qaeda (1984–2001)
Source:
The Dynamics of Radicalization
Author(s):

Eitan Y. Alimi

Chares Demetriou

Lorenzo Bosi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937707.003.0005

The chapter analyzes the episode of contention of the Salafi transnational jihad movement during the 1980s and 1990s. It focuses on how and when al-Qaeda gradually developed a clear political program, organizational resources, and action strategy, and shifted from a resistive mode of contention to a proactive, albeit predominantly nonviolent one, at first, and then to a predominantly violent mode of contention, which reached its most lethal form of indiscriminate violence of September 11, 2001. The chapter demonstrates how the radicalization of al-Qaeda, from defensive pan-Islam to offensive global jihad, was not deterministic, and was far from being a mere result of propensities and incentives for aggression or of ideologies justifying violence. The relational mechanisms propelling the radicalization of al-Qaeda regarded, most centrally, competition for power among various Salafi organizations, and intensifying outbidding dynamics between Salafi leaders and activists and local and foreign security forces.

Keywords:   pan-Islam, Salafism, indiscriminate violence, jihad, outbidding

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