New Release Books by Daniel L Byman

Daniel L Byman is the author of Breaking the Bonds Between Al-Qa'ida and Its Affiliate Organizations (2012).

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Breaking the Bonds Between Al-Qa'ida and Its Affiliate Organizations

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Breaking the Bonds Between Al-Qa'ida and Its Affiliate Organizations
Al-Qa'has always been both a group with its own agenda and a facilitator of other terrorist groups. There are a number of reasons why a group may choose to affiliate with al-Qa'ida, some practical, some ideological, and some personal. While there are clear benefits for an affiliate in linking with al-Qa'ida, there are also rewards for the al-Qa'ida core. It is vital to distinguish between those groups that are full-fledged affiliates and those groups where there is just limited interaction with al-Qa'ida. With these understandings in mind, the United States and its allies should take a number of steps that capitalize on the differences in interests between al-Qa'ida on the one hand and its affiliates and local populations on the other. Ultimately, there are no simple choices when confronting al-Qa'ida affiliates. On the one hand, ignoring groups until they become affiliates, or ignoring affiliates until they strike at U.S. targets, risks leaving U.S. intelligence and security officials in a defensive and reactive mode and vulnerable to a surprise attack. On the other hand, too aggressive an approach can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, strengthening bonds between al-Qa'ida and other jihadist groups by validating the al-Qa'ida narrative and leading groups to cooperate for self-defense and organizational advancement. So, as with most difficult counterterrorism issues, judgment and prudence are essential.

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