BEFORE the September 11, 2001, attacks against the US, few outside the academic and intelligence communities were familiar with the name al-Qa’ida. A decade later, it pervades the collective psyche. Almost every university, news outlet, government agency and think tank now has an al-Qa’ida expert. But what have we learned about al-Qa’ida in the decade since the towers fell?
A review across academic, military, government and media sources leads to a disturbing realisation. Despite a decade of intensified analysis, there is little clarity and even less consensus on the definition of al-Qa’ida. Of course, a secretive terrorist group is not exactly easy to research. Yet the line between opinion and evidence-based analysis is thoroughly blurred on this important subject. Rigorous research is certainly being conducted. Continue reading
London, Asharq Al-Awsat – The jihadist media has moved to publish a new magazine that is concerned with women jihadists. Observers have said that the objective of the publication of the “Al-Shamikha” magazine, which translates as “The Majestic Woman”, is to promote Islamic values among women, in addition to fashion and beauty tips. This magazine has been dubbed the ‘Jihad Cosmo” in some quarters after the well-known Cosmopolitan style magazine. Continue reading