By Christina Hellmich
On account that Sep 11, al-Qaeda has ruled American discussions of nationwide and overseas safety. but conflicting assumptions concerning the nature of the gang and the results of bin Ladin's demise abound. instead of simply supplying yet one more biography of al-Qaeda, Christina Hellmich forensically examines the main authoritative resources on which the current figuring out of al-Qaeda is predicated, reading the discrepancies among what's mentioned and what can realistically be recognized. the result's a penetrating perception into a firm that for all its notoriety is without doubt one of the least understood of our time.
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Extra resources for al-Qaeda: From Global Network to Local Franchise
Contrasting theory holds that the essence of al-Qaeda was something much more vague: a network of individuals affiliated to different Islamist groups that could well have aspired to become highly organized and boast a strong chain of command, but that in fact consisted of much looser associations. Thus, while it may lack a coherent structure in reality, the group benefits from pretending or appearing to be more organized and structured than it really is, essentially creating a propaganda image which strikes fear into national governments and the general public, but is disproportionate to the group’s true size and effectiveness.
Such laws were designed to deal with coherent and structured criminal enterprises, not with amorphous and dispersed politico-religious movements where responsibility for any one single act is difficult to pin down. 28 Furthermore, most of the accounts that portray al-Qaeda as a tightly structured entity formed in 1989 are based on the testimony of a single individual, Dr Jamal al-Fadl, a Sudanese militant who is believed to have been recruited to the Afghan mujahideen through the Farouq Mosque in Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1980s and who subsequently became a senior member of al-Qaeda.
Of particular interest with regard to the reliability of sources is the case of Enaam Arnaout (United States v. Enaam Arnaout), a Syrian American and former director of the charity Bene volence International Foundation (BIF) in Sarajevo, who was arrested on charges of terrorism based on the allegation that he had worked for bin Ladin and made use of donations received by BIF to fund the jihad in Bosnia. 34 Much attention was given at the trial to a file labelled ‘Tareekh Osama’ – a collection of memos, letters and notes recovered from Arnaout’s office at the BIF, which allegedly contained detailed information as to when al-Qaeda was established, what its structure was and who the key members were.
al-Qaeda: From Global Network to Local Franchise by Christina Hellmich