Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 02/2014

"No Point in Fighting Them Since They Themselves are Fighting Each Other?

Kacper Rękawek, Dario Cristiani

September 2013

The Polish Institute of International Affairs


Just before another anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Al Qaeda (AQ) turned 25. Although after more than a decade of the war on terrorism the so called Al Qaeda Central is far from thriving operationally, it still advises and inspires jihadists around the world. Moreover, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring AQ Central affiliates and allies have re-constituted themselves and are growing in various parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East. Nonetheless, de-centralisation of the world’s counter-terrorism effort, with the focus not on AQ Central but on its “subordinates,” may in the longer term lead to a serious disruption of the totality of the organisation, already riddled with internal contradictions.