Terrorism How Have Worries Essay

Pages: 4 (1172 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Terrorism


Salafi networks are organized specifically to target the United States, even more so than its allies. The great majority -- 84% -- of all Salafi organization members joined the movement in the diaspora, revealing the potential for sleeper cells throughout Europe and North America. Demographics for the Salafi network are also vastly different from those of religiously fundamental jihadist groups. For example, 87% of Salafi network members have had a secular education and come from a secular background; and most are professional or at least semiprofessional with families and no history of psychological illness ("Global Salafi Terrorist Networks").[footnoteRef:7] Current trends toward politically motivated anti-Americanism that is not rooted in Islamism are worrisome because they challenge preconceived notions of the underlying ideology of terrorism; thus, secular terrorism is harder to identify and harder to stop. [7: "Global Salafi Terrorist Networks"]

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Intelligence does reveal some patterns in Salafi network membership patterns. For instance, about two-thirds of the secular jihadists join because of pre-existing friendships with existing members. Reasons for bonding together with fellow Muslims are parallel to those of other immigrant groups. For instance, immigrant students have the need to room with other Muslims for dietary (Halal) reasons and bond with persons from their social group -- not based on religion but on worldview, lifestyle, and ethnicity ("Global Salafi Terrorist Networks").[footnoteRef:8] Second generation immigrants tend to be raised in a secular society, but when ostracized or isolated seek social bonding. Therefore, the psychosocial development of individuals becomes the cornerstone of jihadist group membership and recruitment. [8: "Global Salafi Terrorist Networks"]

TOPIC: Essay on Terrorism How Have Worries Over Assignment

The trend away from al Qaeda toward even more nebulous networks presents particular threats for the United States. Although the Al Qaeda central administration has been weakened with the death of bin Laden, the prevailing ideology of jihad remains strong. "While al Qaeda Central is still very much in hiding, the al Qaeda social movement has flourished, fueled by worldwide Muslim resentment against the Western invasion and occupation of Iraq," (Sageman,, p. 133). Pillar confirms that anti-Western sentiment, in specific directed against the United States, has not subsided as the prevailing terrorist ideology. Thus, the current trends are in many ways extensions of the past, just in a slightly different format.

Although some trends are shifting away from al Qaeda, the organization is still alive and has even enjoyed a "resurgence" in Afghanistan via a strategic alliance with Afghan Taliban (Sageman, p. 132).[footnoteRef:9] The numbers of al Qaeda are indeed dwindling, though. There are new types of terrorism, and new leaders, emerging on the horizon. Al Qaeda is more than a singular terrorist network; it is a mentality, a philosophy, and a worldview that permeates similar and sympathetic organizations. Sageman points to the financial aspects of terrorist organizations, too, noting that market forces are becoming a prevailing trend in determining the shape and methodology of terrorism[footnoteRef:10]. These are issues that American counter-terrorism experts are contending with in the post-September 11, universe. [9: Sageman, M., 2008, p. 132] [10: Sageman, M., 2008]

Current trends in terrorism are affecting the American response to counter-terrorism, making it more difficult to pinpoint the administrative heads of organizations. The heads of such organizations matter less when it is an overwhelming normative environment that fosters anti-Americanism. Therefore, counter-terrorism efforts need to be more broadly applied and intelligence-based, revealing threats brewing outside of preconceived contexts.


"Global Salafi Terrorist Networks." Unrestricted Warfare Symposium. March 1-415, 2006.

Jervis, Robert, 2005. American Foreign Policy in a New Era. New… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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