Osama bin Laden is dead but al-Qa'ida remains the CIA's 'number one threat'. With branches in strategic hotspots from Yemen and Somalia to North Africa and an increasing influence among 'home grown jihadis' in the West, journalist and al-Qa'ida expert Abdel Bari Atwan investigates how the organisation has survived all attempts to destroy it. Al-Qa'ida after bin Laden has expanded its reach by cementing new alliances and exploiting the opportunities regional turmoil affords. The Arab Spring has opened new battlegrounds for jihadists, particularly in Libya, the Sahel, Syria and Egypt. As the extremist zeal for a global caliphate shows no sign of abating, Atwan profiles the next generation of foot soldiers and leaders and explores the new methods they embrace in the pursuit of jihad in a digital age.
Abdel Bari Atwan was Editor-in-Chief at the London-based newspaper, Al Quds al-Arabi, which he edited for the twenty years. Atwan interviewed Osama bin Laden in the late 1990s and has cultivated uniquely well-placed sources from within the various branches of al-Qa'ida over the last fifteen years. His other works include The Secret History of al-Qa'ida and A Country of Words: A Palestinian Journey from the Refugee Camp to the Front Page (both published by Saqi Books).
Contents Abbreviations 7 Introduction: After bin Laden 9 The Arab Spring and al-Qa'ida 35 Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula 76 Somalia's al-Shabaab 102 The Taliban - al-Qa'ida nexus: Afghanistan 123 The Taliban - al-Qa'ida Nexus: Pakistan 145 Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and the Sahel 163 Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb: Libya 190 Ongoing and New Alliances 208 The Digital Battleground 234 Conclusion: The Next Generation 253 Notes 267 Select Bibliography 281