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The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda$
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Fawaz A. Gerges

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199790654.001.0001

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Legacies and Aftershocks

Legacies and Aftershocks

(p.127) 5 Legacies and Aftershocks
The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda

Fawaz A. Gerges

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the present state of the al-Qaeda organization. Al-Qaeda now consists of a collection of roving bands on the run, concentrated mainly on the Pakistan-Afghan border, its top leaders are deep in hiding. While calling themselves al-Qaeda, local branches are pitted in a fierce local struggle for survival against the near enemy and are unable to coordinate their actions with the parent organization. Remnants of transnational jihad, including al-Qaeda, are in leaderless disarray and face a hostile environment at home and abroad. However, many terrorism experts belittle the debilitating crisis of legitimacy faced by al-Qaeda, as well as the erosion of Muslim support for transnational jihadism. They claim that al-Qaeda is on the rise and consider transnational jihadism a success story.

Keywords:   al-Qaeda, terrorist groups, jihadism, jihadists, Muslims, transnational jihad

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