The death and revival of Jihadi ideology
Boring, Daniel M.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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Since its inception in 1988, al-Qaeda’s ideological narrative has been a major factor in its ability to mobilize resources, gain new recruits, and garner support from the broader Muslim community. In its nearly three decades of existence, the global jihadi group has experienced great structural change and periods of social upheaval. From the Global War on Terror that weakened the organization’s central leadership to the events of the Arab Spring that exposed the unpopularity of the group’s ideological beliefs, al-Qaeda has remained resilient. Today, al-Qaeda’s ideology is arguably its most important tool in its struggle against adversaries. This thesis analyzes al-Qaeda’s public statements from its birth in Afghanistan to the present and tracks the changes in the group’s framing practices. This thesis argues that al-Qaeda’s central leadership has remained relevant and ensured its own survival by exploiting new opportunities and adjusting its public messaging campaign to accommodate changing strategic environments. The analysis of al-Qaeda’s framing practices is important because the organization remains a major global security threat and its ideology and public messaging has contributed to the group’s survival.
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