Joanne Lock August 30, 2011 12:00AM
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. Continue reading