The Changing Nature of Al-Qaeda: Changes in al-Qaeda's Organizational Structure and the Effect of U.S. Counterterrorism Measures 公开

Gordan, Anna Catherine (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/bv73c059s?locale=zh
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Abstract

Following the attacks of September 11th, al-Qaeda became a household name throughout the United States. The confidence of a nation was shaken and we embarked on a path to a decade long "War on Terror". Thirteen years later, it is widely contended that al-Qaeda has been decimated by the counterterrorism efforts of the United States. The death of Osama bin Laden and the embattled position of the remaining senior al-Qaeda leaders lends credibility to this position. Al-Qaeda, however, still appears capable of threatening the interests of the United States. In August of 2013, 21 embassies and consulates across the Middle East and North Africa were closed due to an intercepted message between senior al-Qaeda leaders. Would a truly defeated organization be capable of inciting such panic?

This work seeks to answer the question of whether or not al-Qaeda has truly been defeated by the United States and her allies. To answer this question, it examines four terrorist plots carried out by al-Qaeda since 9/11. These plots are discussed by examining the ties between operatives responsible for carrying out the plot, as well as their ties to core al-Qaeda leaders. There is also a discussion of how U.S. counterterrorism efforts have affected the ability of al-Qaeda leaders to direct terrorist operations.

This thesis argues that though early United States efforts proved successful in dispersing al-Qaeda operatives, the organization is still very much capable of threatening the United States and her interests abroad. Al-Qaeda largely maintains this ability through its coordination of several franchise groups and a continuing ability to adapt to the circumstances forced upon it.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction……………………………………………………………………………… 3

II. Literature Review……………………………………………………………………….. 4

III. Hypothesis……………………………………………………………………………… 16

IV. Research Design and Methods…………………………………………………………17

V. The 9/11 Groups………………………………………………………………………… 22

A. The Hamburg Cell………………………………………………………………. 22

B. The Muscle……………………………………………………………………… 26

C. Organizational Structure…………………………………………………………31

D. U.S. Led Invasion of Afghanistan………………………………………………..33

VI. The Emergence of al-Qaeda Franchises……………………………………………….. 36

VII. 2004 Madrid Bombings……………………………………………………………….40

B. Organizational Structure………………………………………………………..50

C. Targeted Killings………………………………………………………………..53

IX. 2007 London Car Bombs………………………………………………………………57

B. Organizational Structure………………………………………………………..63

C. Counterterrorism……………………………………………………………..65

X. The Underwear Bomber………………………………………………………………..66

B. Organizational Structure………………………………………………………..73

C. Counterterrorism Strategy…………………………………………….……..75

XI. 2013 Embassy Closings………………………………………………………………..77

XII. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….80

XIII. Future Research………………………………………………………………………83

XIV. Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………85

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